Picasa Gets Unlimited Photo Hosting

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 1, 2011
Updated • Dec 11, 2012

Storage has become a lot cheaper in recent years. Still, most services that you find online do not offer unlimited storage, and those that do are often not the most trustworthy when it comes to holding their end of the bargain.

Photo hosting is one of the most popular online services on today's Internet. The most popular sites like Flickr, Google Picasa or Photobucket limited the free online space to a few Gigabytes at the most.

With the introduction of Google+ comes a change that could change the photo hosting landscape significantly. Google announced today that Picasa is now offering unlimited photo hosting for all of its users.

Here is how it looks:

  • Google+ users: 1 GB of free storage space, photos of a maximum dimension of 2048x2048 do not count against the limit. This basically means that Google+ users can upload as many photos to Picasa as they want, as long as the photos do not exceed that resolution.
  • Google users: Users without a Google+ account get the same free storage space but a lower maximum resolution that users can upload for free. The resolution that does not count against their photo hosting space if the maximum resolution is not larger than 800x800 pixels.

All photos that are uploaded to Google+ by the user are automatically resized to 2048x2048 on their longest edge. Both accounts have in common that videos of a playtime of 15 minutes or less do not count against the storage space as well.

picasa unlimited photo hosting

Users who reach the storage limitation of their Picasa account will have their photos automatically resized so that they do not count against the storage limit.

Another interesting aspect is that this is not restricted solely to Picasa. All Google products and services that allow you to upload videos and photos benefit from the same rules. This includes blogger or Google Maps for instance.

The big question is this. Is the move towards unlimited photo hosting space a try to get Google account owners to switch to Google+, or is it less related? The thing that speaks against a promotional feature is the fact that users cannot simply sign up for a Google+ account at this point in time, as it is invite only. The thing that speaks for it is the close proximity to the Google+ launch, and the fact that Google needs to make their service attractive as possible to be able to compete with the heavyweight Facebook.

What's your take on this?

Update: PhotoBucket got rid of photo hosting space restrictions exactly a month ago.


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  1. Rick said on July 1, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Photobucket does not have limits on photos anymore. Just saw this the other day.


    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 1, 2011 at 9:39 pm

      Interesting, I should have checked before writing ;) They do have a 10 Gigabyte bandwidth limit though.

  2. Ryan D. Lang said on July 1, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    I think they are trying to get as much press as possible. It sums up to that for me. New layouts, new bonuses, and new Google+. This article forces reporters like us to talk about the new service, and that is what is really valuable to them.

    Google is getting a lot of free advertising out of this well planned timing.

  3. unu said on July 2, 2011 at 1:16 am

    I have tried today the limit of picasa. It’s not working. I have only 1 GB free photo and i can not upload more albums on my G+.

  4. William said on July 2, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I tested this out by uploading 12MP files via G+. They uploaded at full resolution, were not downsized to 2048, and still counted against my 1GB limit.

  5. Paul Campbell said on July 2, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Google need to update the Google App service. Users on Google Apps can’t create a Profile which is the cornerstone of Google+. Without a Profile you can’t sign up to Google+.

  6. Asger said on July 2, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Interesting article. But please date articles on this site. It’s SO ANNOYING when people don’t do that, and you stumble across the article and have NO clue when it was published.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 2, 2011 at 6:31 pm

      Look at the web address.

    2. Ryan D. Lang said on July 2, 2011 at 10:37 pm

      And at the bottom of the post:

      “Author: Martin Brinkmann, Friday July 1, 2011 – Print This Post ”

      This is right under the “About the Author” section.

      1. John Oh said on July 3, 2011 at 2:30 am

        The date would be seen if put at te top of the article. What escapes you is the fact that its common practice in most articles to put the Name and the date at the top, whether in letter writing or printed articles. Thats where I would expect it too…Can yo u do that too please?

  7. Sridhar Katakam said on July 8, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    I was uploading some photos and videos earlier and got a warning that there might not be enough space and it had a button linking to https://www.google.com/accounts/PurchaseStorage?hl=en_US&pli=1.

    I ignored that and hit Continue. Let’s see what happens.

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