Google plans to 'host' a photos team in Australia

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Google plans to 'host' a photos team in Australia

Touted as fastest-growing product in company’s history.

Google appears set to house a team working on its photos product - touted at last year’s I/O conference as the fastest growing product in the company’s history - in Australia.

The tech giant used a parliamentary submission to outline its engineering capabilities, as well as providing a brief glimpse of where it is heading.

“The technology that has developed into Google Maps was first invented by an Australian start-up acquired by Google, and to this day Google Australia hosts one of the biggest Google Maps engineering teams in the world,” the company said.

“Google Australia also plans to host the product team working on Google Photos, drawing on Google’s deep machine learning expertise from around the world and transferring those skills to Australian engineers.”

It is understood that Google will not relocate photos product engineers from elsewhere in its worldwide operations, but will establish an additional engineering presence for photos in Sydney.

In May last year - coinciding with Google’s annual I/O developer conference - Google said its photos business had amassed 500 million monthly users in just two years of existence.

That made it “Google’s fastest-growing product ever - faster than Youtube, Gmail or Chrome”, according to a report by TheVerge.

Google also used the conference to announce enhancements to the service, including machine learning algorithms that can select photos that have been uploaded and “suggest who you should send them to based on who is in them".

Some market watchers have raised concerns about the machine learning capabilities of the service, as well as how Google might monetise it (if at all).

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