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Here are ways you can privately share photos with your friends and family

Not everyone wants to use Facebook or email to share their special moments.

WE’RE SPOILT FOR choice when it comes to photos and videos.

High-quality snaps are only a swipe and a button press away on our phones and so too is sharing them so the whole world can see.

Not everyone wants to do that mind. Some of us would rather share it with a select group of people – be it friends or family members – and there are apps and services which allow just that.

Google Photos
For: iOS, Android, Web

As far as photo-saving services are concerned, Google Photos is one of the best thanks to its unlimited storage for photos taken under 12MP, making it a perfect fit for anyone who isn’t a professional photographer.

Alongside its features is the ability to share a collection of photos to anyone with a specialised link. If you have videos, they can be shared through here too. Once you’ve selected the relevant photos, the link will be copied automatically so you can share it in a different app like WhatsApp.

Other cloud-based services like Dropbox, OneNote and offer similar functionality but might not be as easy to use.

Google Photos / YouTube

For: iOS, Android

An app that focuses on private sharing with groups, Cluster supports both photos and video sharing and comes with the usual features of commenting, liking and sharing.

The drawback is you would need to convince the people you’re sharing said photos with to join up too. Once you do, you won’t have to worry about anyone else outside your group seeing your album collections.

Screen Shot 2016-12-14 at 14.17.41 Cluster / App Store Cluster / App Store / App Store

For: iOS, Android

Another private photo sharing app for your phone, Picaboo doesn’t require your friends or family to sign up to the service. Instead, you just share the link and they can view them (they only need an account if they want to comment or like photos).

What separates it from other similar apps is it doesn’t use the cloud. The photos stay on your phone and friends can only access them.

Screen Shot 2016-12-14 at 14.16.07 Picaboo / Google Play Picaboo / Google Play / Google Play

For: iOS, Android, Windows

The purpose of 23Snaps is to share family photos with loved ones so those looking for a way to share photos with friends may want to look elsewhere.

For parents, it’s an online journal where you can document moments from your child or children’s lives. Sharing with your family members and other people is easy as you don’t need the app to view them.

23snaps / YouTube

If you only have a few images that you want to share and they’re on your PC or Mac, Unsee is a good stopgap. Upload your photos, say when the album disappears – have it disappear in one view or a time limit ranging from 10 minutes to a day – and share the link with those you want to see it.

The photos can’t be any bigger than 4MB mind, and there’s no app equivalent, so it’s best for those photos you already have on desktop.

Screen Shot 2016-12-14 at 14.13.12

Other ways to share photos and videos

While some may balk at the idea, the obvious places to share photos privately would be through Facebook’s own products, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.

Facebook Messenger has secret messages which are end-to-end encrypted and much like Snapchat, you can make them disappear after a set amount of time has passed.

WhatsApp is also end-to-end encrypted but both it and Facebook Messenger only allow you to send one image at a time so you should limit it to specific photos. Instagram has a direct messaging service which is easy to forget about but handy if your friends are on the same platform.

While the above has focused more on photos, Vimeo is a good place to share private videos. When you upload your video, you can share it by only sending the link to those you trust or protect it with a password.

Read: Facebook launches advice site with tips on how to keep children safe online >

Read: Here are the things we Googled most in 2016 – can you guess what made the top spot? >

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