We believe we can create a much better experience by focusing on one service that provides more functionality and works across mobile and desktop, rather than divide our efforts across two different products.
The company offers some advice on moving over to Photos and details the timeline for shutting down its services.
Picasa Web Albums
If you have photos or videos in a Picasa Web Album today, the easiest way to still access, modify and share most of that content is to log in to Google Photos, and all your photos and videos will already be there. Using Google Photos, you can continue to upload and organize your memories, as well as enjoy other great benefits like better ways to search and share your images.
However, for those of you who don’t want to use Google Photos or who still want to be able to view specific content, such as tags, captions or comments, we will be creating a new place for you to access your Picasa Web Albums data. That way, you will still be able to view, download, or delete your Picasa Web Albums, you just won’t be able to create, organize or edit albums (you would now do this in Google Photos).
One thing to make clear is that none of this is happening today—if you have a Picasa Web Album you can keep using it as normal. We’ll start rolling out these changes on May 1, 2016.
As of March 15, 2016, we will no longer be supporting the Picasa desktop application. For those who have already downloaded this—or choose to do so before this date—it will continue to work as it does today, but we will not be developing it further, and there will be no future updates. If you choose to switch to Google Photos, you can continue to upload photos and videos using the desktop uploader at photos.google.com/apps.
Finally for developers, we will also be retiring some functions of the Picasa API. More details here.
You can learn more about the new Google Photos service here.