Google is on a spree to merge many services into one and is planning to do so by consolidating the quantity of storage it offers across all services by merging into Google Drive. When Google launched GMail, it was an email service which offered a lot more free storage when compared to competing email services then. Storage is obviously very costly and Google cannot afford to give unlimited storage to each user for free. That’s pretty reasonable for a company which has millions of users under multiple products, and as a result, Google is growing stingier day by day when it comes to storage and hence it is going to combine the free storage offered for Google Drive and Photos.
Google launched Google Drive officially in late April. Google Drive is basically seen as an evolution of Google Docs. It’s a rebranding exercise per se, and that’s what we expected it to be in the first place. Google updated Docs with an all new desktop and mobile app for offline syncing of files. When Google launched Google Drive, it offered 5 gig of free space, and that didn’t include the 1 gig of free storage which Google was providing with Google Photos or Picasa, but according to the new revised policy, Google will no longer count the storage provided for Google Photos and Google Drive separately, which means the 5 gig free storage which Google was offering with Google Drive will now be shared with Picasa.
The change in policy can be seen positively as well as negatively. If a user makes use of Picasa very frequently, but does not use Google Drive as much, then there is a very good chance that he will be very happy because of the sudden increase of free space by 4 gigs. There are some users who don’t use Picasa at all, and such users won’t be affected by the policy change at all. On the downside, few users access both, Photos and Drive, and such users will be forced to buy additional storage at a premium.
As said before, storage is intrinsically costly and with the launch of Google Drive, Google has also changed its pricing policy for additional storage. Previously, 20 gigs used to cost $5 per year, but there have been slight changes in the pricing and now 25 gig will cost $5 per month.
Apart from this, there’s a major change brought with this spring cleaning which needs to be noted. According to the new policy, if the user has bought additional storage, the free storage (5 gig) will now be counted towards his total storage quota. Doing the math, if the user buys 100 gig plan, the total storage available to him will be 100 gig only and not 100+5+1 gig like it used to before, and yes, the additional storage can be used with both, Google Drive and Google Photos. According to Google, this approach will make it easier for users. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comment section below.
Source: Official Google Blog