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The biggest victims of the change in Google Photos after years of free will not be users, but startups suffocated along the way

The goodbye to the free unlimited storage of Google Photos in 'High Quality' is one of the technological news of the year, for what it means for the millions of people that Google has boasted of having in various events. Millions of people who, according to the company, 28,000 million photos and videos are uploaded to the service every week.

Google Photos It is much more than a free Google service for many people, it is "a salvation". Unlike platforms that we use to consume content and to which we can contribute, such as YouTube or Instagram, Google Photos is life insurance for many people who do not want to worry about connecting their mobile to the PC to download the photos, or who know that in the face of a damaged or stolen smartphone, all your photos will already be uploaded to the cloud.

More than 1 billion users later, Google claims that to make Google Photos better it has to charge for the service

Google has explained little of the reasons that have led to this change of course with Photos, but has argued that everything is done by power improving the service. In the background, it suggests that it has to do with cost, in the sense that too many photos are already uploaded for the service to remain free. However, in another of its great services it has not yet imposed limitations.

Google will continue to allow free uploading of photos wherever the user continues to create value

Google maps

The news was totally unexpected, But Google taking the plunge right now makes some sense. Google does not usually lose money with its services, and if they are free it is for something. During these five years of unlimited free uploads to Google Photos, the company has been amassing massive amounts of photos and metadata that have probably served to train its artificial intelligence in facial or scene recognition better than anyone else. dataset possible.

Thanks to this, it has one of the best services to search for photos based on faces or objects on the market, which did not arrive without serious bugs, which were solved. Before, all the functions of Photos were an addition, but now they will be a claim for us to pay for their storage instead of other alternatives that still do not have a similar capacity in many sections. Google Photos has helped Google so much as users, and by the time it is complete enough, it changes its business model. Legitimate.

This is how cloud storage has changed in 5 years: the price of the GB is no longer reduced as before

Wherever the user continues to create value for Google services, in Mountain View there are no changes. It is something that we can see on Google Maps, where millions of photos are also uploaded (and viewed), but where no changes have been announced. And the thing could be balanced: Google can charge from Google Photos and Docs but pay the user to contribute good content to the maps, whatever the type. Instead, they provide rewards that today cannot offset the new cost of their storage and productivity services.

The strategy with Photos and Google+ has suffocated the competitors


As we have seen, Google's strategy with Photos has been able to leave great benefits at a technical level and in terms of user knowledge. But what has happened to your small competitors? Apple and Amazon go the other way, but when Google+ started giving unlimited upload with compression there were more competing startups in the market that now no longer exist.

After smothering startups with free storage and making them less attractive, now Google will do what they did before: charge for a good service in the cloud

Picturelife is one of the best known cases. It was a highly praised service, along with others such as Everpix or Loom, which was bought and 18 months later said goodbye, in August 2016. After four years trying to compete, reached 220,000 subscribers, of which it stored 200 million photos. But looking from you to Google, Apple and Amazon (with unlimited photo uploads for Prime users since 2014) began to be impossible.

Jonathan Benassaya, creator of Picturelife, told The Verge at the moment of goodbye how hard the situation had been in those last months. "No one is interested in cloud storage anymore"He stated in relation to the arrival of more investors. And when a giant offers the same (or better, thanks to its computational power) than you, it is impossible to stand up. It is the same story of social networks. Facebook and its apps they have killed almost everything.