It is not only the G Suite that got rechristened recently as Google Workspace, but Alphabet Inc’s Google is also now limiting how many high-quality photos users can store without any fee. Since the launch of Google Photos more than five years ago, storage of high-quality photos has been free and it does not have any limit.
In a blog post, the company informed that starting June 1 next year, any new photos and videos user upload will count toward the free 15 GB of storage that comes with every Google Account or the additional storage user’s purchased as a Google One member.
Once a user crosses the limit of 15GB, they will have to buy extra storage through Google One. Plans start at $1.99 per month in the U.S. for 100 GB of storage.
“Growing demand for storage” means Google Photos can no longer honour a years-old policy of unlimited capacity for high-quality images, the company said in a blog post.
Currently, more than 4 trillion photos are stored in Google Photos, and every week 28 billion new photos and videos are uploaded. More than 1 billion people use Google Photos each month.
Google said that any photos or videos user uploaded in High quality before June 1, 2021, will not count toward their 15GB of free storage limit. This means that photos and videos backed up before June 1, 2021, will still be considered free and exempt from the storage limit.
Also, Pixel users who have uploaded photos from their device won’t be impacted. Photos and videos uploaded in High quality from Pixel device will continue to be exempt from this change, even after June 1, 2021, said the company.
To make this process smooth, in June 2021, Google will be adding a feature in the photo app that will make it easy for users to identify non-relevant photos which they can delete to free up space.
The move is likely to help Google bridge the gap between its investment in a cloud storage with corresponding revenue. The company has heavily invested in cloud storage systems without experiencing a related increase in revenue.