With the new change to the AdSense referrals, it would seem the AdSense team also did some cleaning house and dropped the Picassa referral program for publishers. Previously, publishers could refer potential Picassa users to the program and earn up to $1 for a first-time install on Windows. But now, to refer someone to Picassa, you need to use the all-encompassing Google Pack buttons or text links to promote it.
I am not sure why this change was made, although I had heard it was being done. Perhaps the program just wasn’t converting very well for publishers, so rolling it into a multiple-program download was the answer. If you go into your control panel now, Picassa is missing from the product lineup. A few of the Google Pack buttons and links have been updated with photo related text, but they aren’t available in all of the sizes offered for referral buttons.
Right now with Google Pack, you earn up to $2 when someone downloads and installs. But no word yet if that is being increased to $3 to take into account the $1 a publisher could have earned with the addition of Picassa.
When I initially heard from Google that Picassa was being dropped, I had hoped that the change would mean that there would be an open slot for a new Google product that publishers could promote and earn commission from. But there doesn’t seem to be anything new, at least not yet.
No word as of yet what happens to the old Picassa buttons or links publishers were using before the change. They could remain Picassa for now, or perhaps they have been changed by Google to the new Google Pack referrals instead.