Oakland, California – Alphabet Inc’s Google will begin limiting the number of high-quality images users can store on the company’s cloud backup service starting next June, it announced Wednesday, in a move that could help protect profit margins.
In a blog post, the company said the “growing demand for storage” means Google Photos no longer respects a year-old policy of unlimited capacity for high-quality photos. Instead, it will set a storage limit for images, along with files in Google Docs editors, for a total of 15 GB.
Only “original quality” photos, or incredibly high-resolution copies, were only those that were pre-calculated against the maximum. Google’s plans for the additional storage, which it calls Google One, start at $ 2 a month.
More than a billion people use Google Photos every month, but the company has estimated that less than 20% of them will need to upgrade for additional storage in the next three years.
Google has faced plummeting profits in recent years as it invests heavily in cloud storage systems without seeing a related increase in revenue. But this year the company was aiming to fill the gap by adjusting the franchises offered by Google One to attract more sales.