The move seems to be an effort to manage the growing demand of data storage
More than 4 trillion photos are stored in Google Photos, and every week 28 billion new photos and videos are uploaded
Google Photos has become one of the most user-friendly and functional photo storage/gallery applications. After five years since the company launched the platform, it has announced that it will stop offering the free unlimited storage feature from 1 June next year.
Starting 1 June, 2021, any new photos and videos that will be uploaded on Google Photos will count toward the free 15 GB of storage that comes with every Google Account or the additional storage that user has purchased as a Google One member. The free 15GB or the additional amount of data purchased is shared between Google Drive, Gmail and Photos.
The move seems to be an effort to manage the growing demand of data storage. According to the company, more than 4 trillion photos are stored in Google Photos, and every week 28 billion new photos and videos are uploaded. Google claims that this change also allows them to keep pace with the growing demand for storage. Users invested in Google’s ecosystem have the option to purchase the Google One subscription which offers extended storage for a specified amount of time.
Despite the new deadline, Google claims that any photos or videos that have been uploaded in High quality before June 1, 2021 will not count toward the 15GB of free storage or the storage that has been bought additionally. Photos and videos backed up before June 1, 2021 will still be considered free and exempt from the storage limit.
If the user backs up their photos and videos in Original quality, these changes do not affect them. The original quality photos and videos will continue to count toward the 15 GB of free storage across the user’s Google Account.
Pixel phone users, however, still get some additional benefits. Owners of any of the Pixel devices can still upload pictures from that device and it won’t impact the storage. Photos and videos uploaded in High quality from that device will continue to be exempt from this change, even after June 1, 2021.
Google claims that over 80% of users should still be able to store roughly three more years worth of memories with the free 15 GB of storage. The company will notify the user when the storage starts getting close to the 15 GB mark. The platform offers tools that will allow users to pick out pictures/ videos that need to be deleted.
The company is also offering tools to help users plan and transition towards the new policy. The company will provide a personalized estimate for how long the user’s storage may last. This estimate takes into account how frequently photos, videos and other content are backed up to the Google Account.