Five years after launching as a service you could exclusively use for free, some people will soon need to start paying for Google Photos. On Wednesday, Google announced that starting on June 1, 2021, it will no longer offer unlimited storage at “high quality.” Any new compressed photos and videos you upload to the service after that date will count toward your Google Drive limit, and if you go above the 15GB free cap, you’ll need to pay for a Google One subscription. The base 100GB tier costs $1.99 in the US.
In a post over on its Keyword blog, Google said the change will allow it “keep pace with the growing demand for storage.” According to the search giant, Photos users upload approximately 28 billion photos and videos per week, and there are already more than 4 trillion images on its servers. The company was also quick to point out that for 80% of Photos users, they likely won’t need to pay for additional storage for another couple of years.
Still, it’s a major change to how Photos operates, and one that takes away the platform’s best perk. Understandably, it may get you to reevaluate how you use the service. With that said, do you plan to subscribe to Google One to continue using Google Photos? Or will you look to other services? As always, let us know by voting in our poll and sharing your thoughts in the comment section. We’ll highlight the best ones in a follow-up post.