6 years after launching, Google Photos will begin its move for monetization in a few days, when Google begins restricting how much storage it allows. Google One’s aim is to entice users to buy more storage via the “Google One” program after they’ve exceeded the free limit of 15GB.
Google Photos offers two types of photo storage: uncompressed “Original” quality images that contributed to your storage limitation, and compressed “High Quality” photos that didn’t.
Beginning June 1, all newly uploaded photos will be counted towards the storage limit, even if they have been compressed. The good news is before that day comes, all “High Quality” images and videos uploaded to Google Photos will remain free. Those who plan on taking advantage of that should probably start uploading their photos as soon as possible.
Machine-learning-driven Google Photos features, like portrait light and portrait background blur as well as the editor, are also no longer free and only usable to Pixel and Google One customers as they are locked behind the paywall.
The majority of Google’s revenue (~80%) comes from advertising, but with moves like these, it hopes to diversify its revenue stream and profit from paid services as well.
After a few years of attracting users, Google Photos is finally working to whittle down its free options. For those who want to upgrade for more storage, they may do so by paying Php89/month for 100GB, Php149/month for 200GB, Php479/month for 2TB, and Php2,399 for 10TB. Check out their official website here.