Google is telling users that some video file formats will start counting toward their Google Photos storage cap, changing a rule that had been in place since 2015 that allowed users to store unlimited photos and videos as long as they let Google compress the files.
But Google added a note to its Google Photos Help page recently, stating that any "unsupported" files uploaded after December 6 will begin to count against a user's storage total. Thankfully, the list of unsupported file types is short and will probably only affect people uploading very high quality videos.
Android Police spotted the small change and noted that right now, Google says it supports .mpg, .mod, .mmv, .tod, .wmv, .asf, .avi, .divx, .mov, .m4v, .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .m2t, .m2ts, .mts, and .mkv files, meaning that any uploads of these file types will still be free and will not count against your storage space if compressed.
The only file types that may be unrecognizable to Google Photos are VOB or RAW video, according to Android Police, and it added that these file types generally can only come from higher-end cameras or devices.
Google has often been on the receiving end of praise for their generous storage rules, allowing users to save large files to Google Drive for years without it counting against storage space. In August it signed a deal with WhatsApp that allows users to store their chat backups on Google Drive without it counting against their storage limit.
Google has been eager to popularize its storage features as it expands many of its services to users worldwide. They offer 15GB for free with any Google account and have a number of deals and rules that allow users to save a variety of files without them counting against their storage space.
Google was praised heavily in 2015 for their changes to Google Photos, including the rule allowing users to upload an unlimited amount of photos and videos, all for free. But Android Police said the recent rule change may have been instituted because some users were making certain large files look like video files in an attempt to skirt the rules and not have them count against their storage space.
Google has spent years battling platforms like Dropbox and Microsoft's OneDrive for supremacy of the cloud storage market, and it continues to offer tons of special deals to coax users into choosing their service.
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- Google Photos will no longer allow unsupported files to be stored for free, meaning they will now count against your storage space.
- Google Photos still allows you to store most file types for free, but the small change was instituted quietly last week on the Google Photos help page.
- Google Drive won't count backups from WhatsApp toward your storage cap
- Microsoft warns Windows 10 users to free up storage space for the big October update
- New Dropbox add-on for Gmail helps you more easily store large files
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- How to re-enable quick access to Google Photos in Google Drive (TechRepublic)