Google removed an important feature from its photo search after it reached a deal with Getty Images

Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
Denis Balibouse/Reuters

  • Google is removing the “View Image” button from Google Images.
  • The move comes as part of an agreement between the search giant and Getty Images, which allowed its photos to show up in Google Images if it eliminated the button.
  • The reverse image search feature is instead remaining.

Google is removing the handy “View Image” button from its Image search engine, starting on February 16.

The decision has come as part of a settlement between Google and Getty Images, one of the largest stock photo agencies.

Earlier this month, the two firms had agreed that images from Getty’s enormous archives would start appearing inside Google Search, but that was not the only part of the deal.

The “View Image” button would redirect users directly to the image’s own URL, without visiting the publisher’s page first; this apparently brought up privacy concerns, which led Google to eliminate the button entirely.

“For those asking, yes, these changes came about in part due to our settlement with Getty Images this week,” the company said in a tweet. “They are designed to strike a balance between serving user needs and publisher concerns, both stakeholders we value.”

Google was also quick to say that, despite the clear inconvenience for users, the other popular Image feature – reverse image search – has remained.

Reverse image search allows users to drag and drop a picture directly into Google Images’ search bar, and have the engine search for matching images on the web.