Updating Google Photos storage policy; What does this mean for us?

By : |November 12, 2020 0

Google just said, “We know this is a big shift and may come as a surprise. So we wanted to let you know well in advance and give you resources to make this easier”. It definitely comes as a surprise. Because until now, we would simply use the backup and sync option and let Google Photos do the rest. As Google Photos caps our limit to store anything on the cloud at 15 GB, this move raises many eyebrows.

Launched in 2015, Google Photos gained huge popularity among smartphone users, thanks to the free storage benefit offering. Google highlights in its blog post that over four trillion photos are stored on Google Photos; with 28 billion new photos and videos uploaded every week. The extensive adoption of the service also provided Google with a native way to enhance its machine learning algorithms. However, it has now decided to put the free storage benefit to an end.

What happens now?

Every Google account comes with a 15 GB free cloud storage.  Starting June 1, 2021, all your photos or videos will come under this 15GB. So, if this storage gets full, then you will have to buy the Google One subscription to get more storage. Google noted that all the existing high-quality content will remain exempted from storage quota. This also means that if you upload new photos and videos in high quality before June 1, 2021, then those won’t count towards your Google account storage.

Google Photos Product lead David Lieb explained on Twitter that Google Photos needed to change the policy because free backups cost big to the company. “It is a necessary step to “align the primary cost” of offering free service while also accepting the “primary value” of online storage,” he said.

In addition to Google Photos, Google is also including Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, and Jamboard files to the 15GB storage cap. The company has also announced a policy to delete the content of accounts inactive for more than two years starting June 1.

What can you do?

High quality and Express quality photos and videos backed up before June 1, 2021, won’t count against your Google Account storage.
Original quality photos and videos will continue to count toward your Google Account storage. Emails, Drive and conversations will also come under this storage.

Mostly, this feature is not as worrisome as it sounds. Mainly because currently we don’t use cloud storage as much as we think. Additionally, nothing will count as storage till May 2021. Even later, if you decide you want more space, you can always expand your storage through Google One.

What role do Pixel Phones play?

If you have a Pixel 5 or an earlier device, you’ll continue to receive free unlimited storage for photos and videos backed up from your Pixel devices. But other than that, if you decide you want more space for your memories, you can expand your storage through Google One. In the US plans start at $1.99 per month for 100 GB of storage. Plans include additional member benefits like access to Google experts; exclusive features like advanced photo editing tools, shared family plans, and more.

Post Google Photos Storage policy change, Indians can use Google One at the following prices

The basic subscription of Google One offers you 100GB storage space for Rs 130 per month or Rs 1,300 on a yearly basis. By paying this, you get lots of storage space, which you can even share with your family. For 200GB storage space, you will be required to pay Rs 210 per month or 2,100 per annum. Further, for 2TB, the price of Google One in India is Rs 650 per month and Rs 6,500 per year. For 10TB, the price is Rs 3,250 per month.

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