Google has announced that the unlimited free storage of Google Photos will be terminated as of June 2021. After this date all content uploaded to the Google account will count as part of the 15GB free and from then on you will have to pay for more storage.
Google started offering free unlimited storage in the High Quality option of Google Photos in 2015. Since then we have been able to store photos up to 16 megapixels and videos up to 1080p. Now, with the growing demand for cloud storage, Google has announced changes. While the new content will begin to count against the 15GB account limit, it is important to note that the photos we would have already stored on the service will continue to be available after the scheduled date without further changes.
Google claims that more than 28 billion photos and videos are uploaded to Google Photos every week, which is why it will start charging for the extra storage. The Mountain View company estimates that 80% of users will be able to continue using the service after June 1, 2021 without paying for at least three years, until they reach the established limits.
The second change that the company has announced affects the documents, spreadsheets and presentations that can be managed in Google’s office suite. Until now these files did not count against the 15GB of storage either, but from June 1st they will. As with the photos, the files that are in the service before the stipulated date will continue to be available at no extra cost unless we edit them.
At the same time, Google has announced that if an account has been inactive for more than 24 months, the company will start to remove the content. A removal will be preceded by a three month notice.
As we have heard many times before, “when a service is free, you are the product”, but it seems that, over time, the profitability of the service for Google is not enough to compensate for the price of storage. In other words, you are not really worth as much as a product as you are worth to make the cost of storage profitable.
For now the company has not announced changes to the current rates which are $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year for 100GB, $2.29 per month or $29.99 per year for 200GB or $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year for 2TB. Thus the giant of internet advertising is on a par with other similar services such as iCloud or Dropbox.
It is clear that cloud storage has experienced a very considerable increase in demand in recent years. The quality of the content we generate is increasing and so is the ease of generating it. However, it is understandable that companies must balance prices in order not to lose money on the services they offer.