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    • For many years, Google Photos has been one of the best and most popular online photo storage services available. Not only did it allow users to access their entire photo library from all their connected devices, it also utilised machine learning to intelligently create albums around certain events, to identify people and things in photos which made searching for specific photos possible, automatically created collages, videos, and GIFs from your media, and perhaps most importantly, it offered users free and unlimited storage for all their photos. That last perk will be going away next year, with the Google Photos team recently announcing that from June 2021, all new uploads will count towards your Google (Drive) storage.

      This news was of course met with a lot of disappointment and some anger as well. Google Photos has a lot to offer, but free and unlimited storage was by and large the biggest selling point. When I wrote an article about the best Google Photos features two years ago, free unlimited storage was first on my list. Google Photos will still be free to use, but starting June 1st 2021 all the photos/videos you upload will take up storage space in your Google account, and when that storage is maxed out (15GB shared between Photos, Drive, and Gmail), you will need to pay for more.

      As someone who has been using Google Photos since launch, I'm rather disappointed by this change, but I can understand why it's happening. Google Photos says that it currently hosts more than 4 trillion photos and videos and that users upload 28 billion more every week. Google claims that free and unlimited storage is no longer sustainable, and considering the numbers they shared, I think that's an understatement. Other than Google Photos, I don't think any other online service (for photos or otherwise) offers free and unlimited storage. So as much as it sucks for users, I don't blame Google for this change to Google Photos.

      When the time comes, I'll probably subscribe to Google One and get more storage. I don't want to revert back to offline backups for my photos, and if I need to pay for online storage I might as well continue using Google Photos. In addition, the storage will also be used for Gmail and Google Drive, both of which I use. The storage for Google Drive will be especially vital for me as I use Google Drive apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides) more than Microsoft Office, and those files will also start taking up storage space starting next year.

      Even without free unlimited storage, Google Photos is still one of the best online photo storage services around. If you are currently using it, how will this change affect you? Will you jump to another service or will you subscribe to Google One when the time comes?

    • My personal estimate looks virtually the same as yours - down to the same amount of storage perks we must have enjoyed along the way. ;)

      If it wasn't for those additional 4GB, I would have exceeded my quota for a while already, mostly for all those mails I haven't deleted in the last 8+ years. I still have a 1yr/100GB offer I can activate that came with my Chromebook, but after that I probably will join the Google One club as well.

    • That's right. Everything you store now, including photos, videos, Google Docs etc, won't count towards your storage. The change only takes place June 1st next year.

    • When we started SmugMug in 2002, everyone said we had no chance because Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo, HP and Shutterfly all offered unlimited free photo sharing and they were blue chip brands with the money and scale to sustain it.

      Microsoft eventually sent an email announcing their closure and you had two weeks to fetch your photos or lose them.

      When my sons bought Flickr, they had to quickly do away with the 1 petabyte of free storage.

      Meanwhile, Apple charges, they store an unimaginable amount (I know the number), and they make bank doing it.

      Amazon offers unlimited photos, both RAW and jpeg, with your Prime subscription.

    • I was a HUGE evangelical for google products until they started telling everyone their services were the future and then pulling the rug out from under you. G+ (which I was on from the first day of the service to the last) was the last straw for me and now I never recommend google products or services to anyone.

    • Even without free unlimited storage, Google Photos is still one of the best online photo storage services around.

      I wouldn't call them the best. Most convenient, perhaps. But, I could be wrong, yet they allegedly also parse all that data and use it to enhance ad algorithms or what have you.. Viewed through that aspect, it wasn't ever really a free service, it's just that now they decide the tipping point from which they need to also start collecting $$ from end users.

      I'm not a facebook user but wonder when will they also start charging - if not already.

    • I'm not a facebook user but wonder when will they also start charging - if not already.

      There are these 'functions' that are free, but over time the benefit these corporations have over the general population (vast majority pay nothing for Google services, for example...) is lock in.

      The deal has been you get the information to target ads to us for the ability to use the service(s) of the platform. If the Book of Face were to ever consider this...that could be the beginning of the end, in my mind.