Google announced changes to Google Photos’ storage policy. This may affect people who have posted a lot of photos there. The change will not take place immediately.
Starting on June 1, 2021, any new photos and videos you upload will count toward the free 15 GB storage that comes with every Google Account or the additional storage you’ve purchased as a Google One member. “We know this is a big shift and may come as a surprise, so we wanted to let you know well in advance and give you resources to make this easier,” Google stated.
In the same blog post, Google clarified:
Any photos or videos you’ve uploaded in High quality before June 1, 2021 will not count toward your 15GB of free storage. This means that photos and videos backed up before June 1, 2021 will still be considered free and exempt from the storage limit. You can verify your backup quality at any time in the Photos app by going to back up & sync in Settings.
Also starting on June 1, any new Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms or Jamboard file will begin counting toward your free 15 GB of allotted storage or any additional storage provided through Google One.
The Verge reported that Pixel owners will still be able to upload high-quality (not original) photos for free after June 1st without those images going against their cap.
The Verge also noted that it appears that Google hopes to influence people to switch from Google Photos to Google One. The price starts at $1.99/month for 100GB and has tiers going through 200GB ($2.99/month), 2TB ($9.99/month) and up to 30TB ($149.00/month).
It is always a good idea to have a copy of your photos and videos somewhere that you have control over, such as on your computer or on an external hard drive. There will always be some people who feel that their photos and videos are safe on Google Photos (and other services similar to it), and who fail to keep copies for themselves. Never assume that Google, or any other photo hosting service, will be around forever.