Users Become Hooked to Enjoying Free Unlimited Storage on Google Photos; It’s Not the Same Now, However

On Wednesday, the firm stated it would withdraw Google Photos’ unlimited storage. This service began in 2015, and it enables users to effortlessly upload, back up, and go through the substantial number of pictures that our smartphones hold.

Any images that users upload after 1 June 2021 will be classified on the 15 GB limit applicable on Google accounts that presently feature files from different services like Google Drive and Gmail.

After Google Photos users achieve that limit, they will need to pay for additional space through the firm’s Google One cloud service. For storage of 100 GB, it begins at $1.99 each month.

Annoyed users

However, the huge number of users who flooded Google Photos in the five years from its inception (a billion and more of them) may be justified in feeling betrayed after relying on a feature that Google made believe would be available forever.

‘With Google Photos, you get one, private area to store the memories of a lifetime and use any device to access them,’ said Anil Sabharwal, the then-head of Google Photos commented in a blog post upon the service’s launch in 2015. ‘When we describe it as memories of a lifetime, we do mean it.’

The offering of unlimited superior-quality image uploads and smooth automatic backups from their smartphones hooked users. After you upload your images, Al capabilities from Google make it much simpler to go through your earlier photos, e.g., classifying them by date, event, or even recognizing areas and people.

People embraced this excellent and free service, so, after the announcement from Google on Wednesday, a large number of people are posting nasty, sarcastic, or even irritated remarks on social media.

‘One user wrote on YouTube, ‘Google Photos: Photos: Until Google no longer wants them.’ It was because Google Photos had said it was ‘For Life.’

Also, numerous Twitter users alleged that the firm used a ‘bait and switch’ tactic, and most said they would not use Google Photos anymore. Google failed to give an immediate response when asked for more comments.

Some caveats

There are some crucial details about future change.

Before, Google permitted users to upload superior-quality pictures for free. Compared to the original, they were a bit compressed, but it was hard to detect it. When you uploaded original quality pictures, it already fell under the limit of 15 GB storage. However, after 1 June next year, any images that users include on Google Photos will use that limit.

Some steps have been implemented to assist in making the change easy. According to Google, whatever you upload to Google Photos between now and the coming June will not be classified in the 15 GB cap, and the firm approximates that over 80% of users will access sufficient storage space to store pictures and videos for three years, even after June the coming year.

Additionally, Google will allow you to monitor the space you have remaining in years instead of GB depending on a calculation according to the number of times you pick the pictures and back them up. Google Images also uses artificial intelligence to caution you when your space is full and advise the best photos to delete like unclear images, random screenshots, and whatever has already backed up to the cloud.

According to Google, even after the deadline of June 2021, people who use its Pixel Smartphones will have fun with the free unlimited storage.

Alternatives are available for you.

In some people’s opinion, when Google suddenly decided to increase the amount users pay for storage space, it was an indication that the tech firm was a major and powerful one.

Furthermore, the tech giant is presently experiencing a big antitrust lawsuit because of its online search supremacy. Its attempt to improve Google Photos to generate more income could give many of the firm’s critics more ammunition to warrant an investigation.

However, Google has numerous powerful rivals where cloud storage and photo services are concerned, unlike its superiority in an online search.

Examples are, Applies iCloud that presents free storage of  5 GB and $0.99 per month for 50 GB storage afterward, OneDrive from Microsoft, which offers users 100 GB of storage for $1.99 each month, and Flickr, which provide a maximum of 1,000 videos and photos for free and charges $6.99 each month for unlimited storage.

Therefore, as annoying as it may be to some people, the change is not likely to intensify the analysis of its market strength.

Avery Gardiner, Center for Democracy and Technology’s general counsel and senior fellow for competition, data, and power stated, ‘I believe terming this an antitrust issue is exaggerating.’

‘And, offering individuals notice of more than six months of an upcoming price increase cannot be termed as power abuse.’

Gardiner also says that Google does not prevent users from moving to other services or impose limitations on the efficient operations between various services’

However, for users who have stored Google Photos pictures and videos for years, the firm claims that 4 trillion photographs and more are presently kept on the platform, and each week, 28 billion are included, and it may be hard to move away.

Most ideal things are temporary.

image BigTunaOnline / Shutterstock.com

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