In one huge step forward for photographers everywhere and one enormous step back for all the rest of us, on Feb. 15, Google removed the "view image" button from its image search results — effectively halting the formerly easy practice of right-clicking an image and downloading it for use elsewhere.
For those asking, yes, these changes came about in part due to our settlement with Getty Images this week (see also https://t.co/a5uFldOcih). They are designed to strike a balance between serving user needs and publisher concerns, both stakeholders we value.
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) February 15, 2018
"For those asking, yes, these changes came about in part due to our settlement with Getty Images this week," Google tweeted, placing the blame for the change on a 2017 complaint that the stock photo agency filed in Europe accusing the search giant of "anti-competitive practices." But while this may be a huge annoyance for many of us, there is still a workaround that exists that enables a user to download the image: right-clicking on the image that pops up in image search and clicking "open image in new tab" in the Chrome browser will still allow you to view the full-size image that you need.
Regardless, people are naturally very unhappy about the unforeseen change. Below check out what Twitter had to say about the issue — and remember, it hasn't gone away entirely; you just have to make a slight tweak to the way you approach your image searching on the platform. Or, if you're really, really jonesin': this A+ Chrome extension just might do the trick.
google images got rid of the direct image link feature and with that the old internet has truly died pic.twitter.com/5a7jfqMvHV
— j a c k s o n (@headfallsoff) February 15, 2018
Cool, so Google got rid of the view image button on Google search. LITERALLY THE ONLY THING I EVER USE . THANKS GOOGLE
— Ali H 🔥 (@The_AliH) February 16, 2018
Realizing the "view image" button was removed from Google... pic.twitter.com/SzNAy4z0op
— Rob Lowder (@Rob_Lowder) February 16, 2018
Hey @Google, I see you removed your "view image" button. Now I have two click A WHOLE EXTRA BUTTON for the same results.
Thanks for the inconvenience.
Also, CC this to everyone else. pic.twitter.com/kkqnsBcZC6
— Caffeine Commissar (@CaffComm) February 16, 2018
i could deal with not having cheeseburgers in my happy meals but taking view image and search by image out of google image search?? i think we're on the bad end route please reload your previous save.
— touya★ハカメモクリア (@nintouya64) February 16, 2018