Google recently removed the 'View Image' option in its image search results after signing a licensing partnership with Getty Images.
However, Google added a new Chrome extension, which brought the button back to where it was before Google removed it.
Many people found the 'View Image' button quite useful, according to industry experts, because it gave them the ability to easily view and download an image found through Google's search engine.
Social media reaction showed that quite a few people seemed unhappy with Google’s change. The Chrome extension has also proved to be quite popular. The removal of the button made it harder to download and maybe even abuse copyrighted images.
However, it also made life harder for those who used the images in an honest way, experts say.
Harder to steal images
The change means that people are only given the option to see the picture on the page which hosts it. They have to click into the website and comply with its rules.
The new site will discourage users from being able to steal pictures that they ordinarily would not be able to download. It will also stop them from linking to pictures without people seeing what is around them on a page.
Today we're launching some changes on Google Images to help connect users and useful websites. This will include removing the View Image button. The Visit button remains, so users can see images in the context of the webpages they're on. pic.twitter.com/n76KUj4ioD— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) February 15, 2018
Google initially said the change was made "to help connect users and useful websites". The company also emphasized that the view on page button would still be available. But the company later said that the change had been made partly because of the agreement with Getty to make it harder to steal the agency's pictures.
The new agreement gives Google the right to use Getty content in its products and services.
"The (changes) are designed to strike a balance between serving user needs and publisher concerns, both stakeholders we value."
"The (changes) are designed to strike a balance between serving user needs and publisher concerns, both stakeholders we value," Google said.
Getty Images is an American stock photo agency, with headquarters in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is a supplier of stock images for business and consumers and has an archive of 80 million still images and illustrations.
On the other hand, the new Chrome extension, called "View Image," was downloaded by more than 8,000 people since its launch and the reviews have been great.
Without the extension, one can still download the image in a more complicated way. You can click "Visit" to go to the page where the image is, and then download with a right click in Chrome. The extension, however, makes the whole thing simpler.
Other changes also made
Google has made some other important changes to the search experience this week. The firm introduced its own ad-blocking technology to Chrome last Friday.
This is designed to stop the intrusive advertisements that users find annoying. This encompasses pop-up ads which automatically play sound and ads that will take up a user's entire screen.
Moreover, Google has also launched a platform for smaller content which is visually rich to view on mobile devices. They are called Amp Stories and are part of Google's push to speed up the Internet for mobile users. The Accelerated Mobile Pages (Amp) Project was first introduced in 2015.