Google Photos had been offering free unlimited photo backups at high quality for the past 5 years, but the company has decided to start charging for storage after 15 gigs on the account have been used. The policy will come into effect on the 1st of June next year.
Other policy changes will also come into effect, including Google Drive updates. A new policy related to data deletion will also be introduced, under which data of inactive accounts that haven’t been logged in to for at least 2 years, will be deleted.
As far as the new Google Photos policy is concerned, documents and photos uploaded before 1st June will not count against the 15GB cap, meaning that users have sufficient time to decide whether they want to continue using Google Photos or switch to another cloud service provider before June 1st.
The updated Google Photos policy is taking away one of Google’s major selling points, since users didn’t have to worry about how much storage they had for their photos.
In addition to that, Google is offering a sort of bonus for Pixel users who use Google Photos. Pixel owners would be able to continue uploading high quality photos for free even after 1st June, without the photos counting against 1GGB cap.
Google will notify users via alerts and warnings when they are about to reach the cap. New storage management tools will also be introduced, including one that will make it easier to find and delete unwanted photos, and a personalized estimate which will show how much a storage tier will last in terms of time rather than gigabytes.
Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, and Jamboard Files will also begin counting against storage caps, in order to bring Google’s policies more in line with industry standards, according to the company. The updated policies will also put an end to some clever hacks, like the one that turns files into Google Docs via a binary conversion tool.