Google had launched Google photos storage in 2015, and had promised unlimited uploads. However, as per recent reports, Google has planned to limit the same to 15 GB of storage per account. It will also include Gmail and Google Drive. Now, if anyone wishes to store more photos and videos, a paid plan will be required. Thus, this move will limit the uploads and also lessen space for emails.
The date from when the company plans to incorporate the changes, is June 2021. The user limits till before that date, will not be taken into account. Dismayed by the reports, users on social media have accused Google of manipulating the market. The free photo storage function from Google Photos seems to be a ploy to take the market share of other companies. The company has lost a lot of money in the process.
Google Photos Monopolistic Behavior
Don MacAskill, who is the chief executive of photo-sharing site Flickr and its owner Smug Mug, has tweeted, that he already knew this coming. For five years, Google has chalked up the ploy to scoop up the market share. They long knew, that this would kill the competition and eventually create a monopolistic market. He has further said, that he is not at all surprised by Google’s move.
Moreover, very recently the U.S Department of Justice has filed anti-trust charges against the firm. This announcement comes at a time, when 165 of Google’s critics have written to the European Union, to take tough action against the tech giant for malpractices.
Well-chalked Out Growth Strategies By Google Photos
Google had initially promised a lifetime of memories when it had launched the service in 2015. The promised capacity was unlimited. Users could store unlimited photos and videos for free. However, Google on its blog recently said that they were nearing full capacity. There are more than four trillion photos being stored on their server. As per Google notification, each week 28 billion photos are uploaded. Google has charted out plans to streamline the process, for better utilization of resources. They have attributed this as the reason behind the decision.
Another report has revealed that nearly 4.3 million gigabytes are added to Gmail, Drive, and Photos every day. Competitors of the tech giant has said, that the unlimited photo storage option was held up, to get a large chunk of the market. Moreover, it was a major USP. It was probably a marketing strategy to sell Google’s own Pixel phones. Earlier, Pixel users could store unlimited photos of high resolution. However, non-Pixel users would get to storage the same photos at a lower resolution.
Currently, Google has gone against what it had said. Now, Pixel users will still get free unlimited storage but at a lower resolution, like that of the rest of free users.
Moreover, Google has also said that users who had crossed their storage limits, will have their data deleted from Gmail, Drive, and Photos.
The news comes at a time when the storage solutions for cloud data are been debated on. The maintenance of vast amounts of cloud storage is not sustainable any longer, if recent reports are to be believed. Flickr offers one terabyte of free storage until late 2018. At that time, users could host 1,000 free photographs.
The current move points at storage for free users till about three years. As per Google, that may be enough for most users.