The Google Photos Free-For-All Is Over


So the free ride is over. Google has announced it will end its unlimited photos storage on june first of next year thereafter imposing a new fifteen gigabyte cap before they ask you to pay up for more storage but before you freak out photos and documents uploaded before that date june first of twenty twenty one will not count against the cap quoting the verge. All photos and documents uploaded before june. I will not count against that. Fifteen gigabyte cap. So you have plenty of time to decide whether to continue using google photos or switching to another cloud storage provider for your photos. Only photos uploaded after june. I will begin counting against the cap who already counts original quality photo uploads against a storage capping google photos however taking away unlimited backup for high quality photos and video which are automatically compressed for more efficient storage also takes away one of these services biggest selling points. It was the photo service where you just didn't have to worry about how much storage you had as a side note pixel owners will still be able to upload high quality not original photos for free after june first without those images counting against their cap. It's not as good as the pixels original deal of getting unlimited original quality. But it's a small bonus for the few people who buy google devices. Google points out that it offers more free storage than others you get fifteen gigabytes instead of the poultry five gigabytes that apple's icloud gives you and it also claims that eighty percent of google photos users won't hit that fifteen gigabyte cap for at least three years and quote by the way even though this photo thing is getting all the headlines. It's also worth noting that this is a sort of new storage policy for google across the board quoting manageable going forward. Google says that. If you don't check in on your google drive files every now and then. It may delete them. Google frames this change as a way to tidy up abandoned digital detritus. Perhaps leftover from long forgotten accounts. Which may be sure or alternatively it may be that a google user simply stored some valuable files away for a while like when might with physical documents and a fireproof safe and simply hasn't peaked at them in a few years quote. We're introducing new policies for consumer accounts. That are either inactive or over their storage across g mail. Drive including google docs sheets slides drawings forums and chambord files and or photos to better align with common practices across the industry. Explains google a blog post announcing the change your inactive in one or more of these services for two years twenty four months who will delete the content in the products in which you're inactive and quote in other words. School at present has no plans to. Just start deleting your stuff. Willy nilly however it's letting you know that. Come june. i twenty twenty one. The clock is ticking and quote but back to the free for all for photos ending. That's what's gotten everyone all riled up overnight which makes sense because this sort of touches all of our buttons when it comes to google right something. Something never rely on. Google services to be consistent forever or to even exist for more than half a decade. Google photos has been free for almost exactly five years by the way but also this strikes to the heart of the whole antitrust argument with which google and other big tech companies are being tarred quoting casey newton. Google earned eleven. Point two billion dollars in profits last quarter and uses all your uploaded photos to train its machine learning algorithms which offers it other enormous competitive benefits also seems notable that free. Google photo storage helped to drive tons of startups out of this market. Ever picks loom ever picture life. Now that they're gone. And google is tired of losing money on photos the revenue switch flips and quote and quoting from a widely read piece by willa ramos in one zero quote. It's a galling bayton switch and an object lesson anticompetitive behaviour by a big tech firm. The unlimited free storage offer was arguably. Google photos is top selling point one that few. If any competing providers could match the company was likely willing to lose money on its service in exchange for the photos value in training. It's ai systems and for the value of keeping users in its broader software ecosystem. What was once a hotly competitive and innovative space now largely controlled by google and a few other giants such as apple and this points to another set of losers albeit nebulous. One everyone who might have benefited from the new ideas and fresh features that were never developed because startups didn't stand a chance against google. It would be easy to reach for a sardonic. Don't be evil reference here. But what google is doing and why it matters isn't best understood in moral terms at every step it was just doing what successful companies do. It offered a great product for free because it could afford to it. Crushed competitors largely by virtue of being the best option on the market. And now it's raising prices because the free storage offer has served its purpose instead. This move is best understood from the standpoint of competition and antitrust it's google's vast size and scope the way it's products in different markets compliment and cross subsidize each other that gave it unmatchable advantages over smaller rivals. In retrospect the free storage offer looks a lot like predatory pricing whether that was google's intent or not but the bigger picture is that google like other dominant platforms. Has its hand in. So many different mutually reinforcing lines of business that it will always be incentivized to leverage them. In anti-competitive ways from certain standpoint the standpoint of maximizing profit and shareholder value. It would be foolish not to end quote. But i will give you this interesting counterpoint. From dare obasanjo who actually engage directly with will on twitter about his piece quote. This is why break. Big tech is sloganeering without a coherent policy. What break-up action would be recommended in. This instance should google photos be spun out of google. Meaning they'd have to charge for it from the jump or that. Google build new free products anymore. The article title is literally that this case is proof and antitrust remedy is needed. I'm simply asking how so google photos as a lost leader. These are common business practices. Mcdonald's profit comes from soda. Not burger's what antitrust regulation would be useful here. Lots of commentary on antitrust and big tech is really. I mad at this company and want them to be punished. There is no government intervention that will cause a for profit company to give you free unlimited storage forever and quote

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