Google’s photo and video storage service, aptly named Google Photos, has some major changes coming in June 2021. Shimrit Ben-Yair, Vice President at Google Photos, announced in a blog post on November 11, 2020, that Google would be restricting the “free storage” tier to photos uploaded beyond June 1, 2021. This announcement may have surprised some, but given Google’s push towards selling their “Google One” storage service, it may not have surprised everyone.
In its current iteration, Google allows users to upload images in “high quality” for free and the storage of those photos does not count towards their storage limit. It should be noted that users that upload their photos in “original quality” don’t benefit from this, as it already counts towards their usage of the storage. One of a few exceptions to this is if you upload photos to/from a Google Pixel device (1-5) which Google allows high-quality photos not to be counted.
Google stated in their blog post: “…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 company also offered free-tools to help customers mitigate potential impacts for this change to monitor and estimate their use.
Similarly to the above announcement, in a separate blog post, Google announced similar changes to other storage using products.