Google is once again trying hard to convince users of Picasa Web Albums to jump over to Google+ Photos.
The URL http://picasaweb.google.com no longer brings you to Picasa Web Albums but instead redirects you to Google+ Photos. As described by the Google Operating System Blog, which is unaffiliated with Google, you have to enter the URL https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/myphotos?noredirect=1 to sneak back into Picasa Web Albums.
You only need to enter that URL once, though. After you use it the first time, Google sets a cookie that turns off the redirection. So you can then go back to using http://picasaweb.google.com to access your Picasa photo album page.
Google has been touting Google+ as the "new home" for your photo albums. The search giant has already replaced Picasa Web with Google+ Photos in the navigation bar and has been redirecting individual photo albums to the Google+ interface, according to the Google Operating System Blog.
Picasa's days have seemed numbered for a while.
Last April, Google disabled the Picasa Web Album Uploader for the Mac and the Picasa Web Albums Plugin for iPhoto. It also put a halt to any future updates for Picasa for Linux. No new features have been added to Picasa Web Albums in general in quite some time.
Meanwhile, Google has been striving to improve the photo features in Google+. Last summer, it added new options that let you view another person's photo albums as a slideshow and download those albums to your computer.
But Picasa Web Albums still packs more photo features than does Google+. So Google may be keeping Picasa alive just long enough for it to bulk up Google+ Photos.