Google, for years, offered free unlimited photo and video uploads and backups in a compressed format through its Photos app, but all that goodness comes to an end next year. Starting June 1, 2021, Google Photos will no longer offer free unlimited backup, and any files uploaded after that will be a part of the 15GB default cloud storage users get with a new Google account.
Google Photos product lead David Lieb explained the reason behind the company's decision in a series of tweets, which simply translates to the growing demand for storage. After acknowledging the fact that Google Photos, since 2015, gave 1 billion people a private place to keep all their photos and videos, it's time for a change. And a big one at that.
Google Photos - end of free reign
Lieb said, users have so far uploaded 4 trillion photos and videos and that number is only increasing by 28 billion files every week. After dropping this bomb, Google was quick to note that existing photos and videos uploaded in "high quality" before June 1, 2021, will not count towards the storage limit. But anything after that date will eat into your measly 15GB allotment.
Google says even with the change, "over 80 percent of you should still be able to store roughly three more years worth of memories with your free 15 GB of storage."
The solution - Google's way
So what happens after you reach that limit? The simple answer is to pay up. Google One plans are readily available for you to continue uploading files to Google Photos, which is off-limits for Google's advertising purposes. That's one (and good) reason. Alternatively, if you own a Pixel phone, that free, unlimited backup for your photos and videos for the set period remains unaffected by this change.
If you haven't checked up on your content on Google Photos for over two years, Google may delete your content across multiple services. So, it might be a good time to take a walk down memory lane.
Google is also trying to help you (sort of). Next year, the web giant is going to offer a utility tool inside Photos that will help you identify dark, blurry photos and large videos that are unnecessarily eating up your cloud space.