All images uploaded by users after June 1, 2021 will count towards the 15 GB limit of Google accounts that already contain files from other services such as Gmail and Google Drive.
After reaching this limit, Google Photos users will have to pay for additional space through the company’s Google One cloud service, which starts at $1.99 per month and can store 100 GB of storage space.
Google Photos provides users with unlimited high-quality photo uploads and automatic smooth backup of smart phones, thus attracting users. After the photos are uploaded, Google̵
Google did not immediately respond to other requests for comment.
There are some details about the upcoming changes worth noting.
In the past, Google allowed users to upload high-quality images for free. These images were slightly compressed compared to the original images, but were almost invisible to casual users. Upload original quality images that have been included in the 15 GB storage limit. However, after June 1st next year, any pictures users put on Google Photos will exceed this limit.
There are some measures that will help simplify the transition. Google said that all content uploaded to Google Photos between now and June next year will not occupy the 15 GB cap. The company estimates that even after June, more than 80% of users will have enough space to store approximately Three years of images and videos. next year.
Google can also track the remaining space based on how often you take and back up images, using years as a unit instead of GB. Google Photos also uses artificial intelligence to warn you when you are running out of space and suggest photos that may be easy to eliminate, such as random screenshots, blurred images, and anything that has been backed up to the cloud.
You have a choice
To some people, Google’s sudden move to let more users start paying for storage seems to be a perfect example of an oversized and powerful technology company.
However, unlike its dominant position in online search, Google has several well-known competitors in terms of photo and cloud storage services.
Including Apple’s iCloud (provides 5 GB of free storage space, after which you need to pay $0.99 per month, and then provide 50 GB of storage space), Microsoft’s OneDrive (can provide users with 100 GB of storage space, only monthly Need to pay 1.99 US dollars) and Flickr (can provide up to 1000 photos and videos) free of charge, 6.99 US dollars per month, unlimited storage.
From this point of view, this change is confounding, but this change is unlikely to intensify scrutiny of its market power.
“I think this is an antitrust issue,” said Avery Gardiner, general counsel for competition, data and power at the Center for Democracy and Technology, and senior researcher. “Notifying people about future price increases for more than six months is not We usually describe it as an abuse of power.”
Gardiner also pointed out that Google will not prevent users from switching to other services, nor will it restrict compatibility between different services.
However, for users who have had images and videos on Google Photos for many years, the company said that there are currently more than 4 trillion images stored on the platform, and 28 billion images are added every week, so switching away may be very difficult. difficult. Certain good things do not mean lasting.