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Google to Facebook: We can do a photos-only feed too

Unlike Facebook, the search company only had to make the tiniest of tweaks to Google+ to let members filter updates for photos.

Facebook dramatically altered its News Feed in part to give members a way to filter its frenzied feed for photos. Google accomplished the same feat with the simplest of tweaks.

Google+ today introduced a new filter that lets members of the company's social network filter search results to show just photos. The subtle addition comes just two weeks after Facebook scrapped its old News Feed and replaced it with something that's a whole lot easier to filter.

The new Google+ "Photo" filter is accessible from a drop-down menu on search result pages, and lets people weed out photos from the rest of the content -- videos, hangouts, events, and other updates -- flowing through the feed.

Google+'s approach to a photos-only view of content is tied to search, which means it's not the direct equivalent of Facebook's photos feed, which displays the stream of photos posted by friends. Still, the subtext behind the maneuver reads like a subtle jab at Facebook: "Hey Facebook, what you did by rebuilding your entire feed, we did with a filter."

The update also highlights how the dueling social networks are battling for your photo attention. Facebook, which owns the photos-only Instagram service, tallies more than 350 million photo uploads per day. But Google+ also desires to be a destination for online photography and has crafted a number of features, including an unencumbered lightbox that showcases shots, to appeal to photography buffs.