Google Photos has arrived. The new service unveiled at the Google developer’s conference last week is likely to be a huge hit. First, it allows you to back up all your photos for free. There is an app for both your computer and your smartphone to further simplify your life. There are a couple details to be aware of – your photos must be under 16mp and they will be just slightly compressed. I think I can live with that for free photo storage.
Not only is the storage free, but Google also provides advanced search functionality for all those photos and videos. It can automatically categorize the photos based on contents and has face recognition functionality.
And why, might you ask, would Google provide all this for free? The same reason they always provide things for free. He who controls the spice controls the universe. There is a great deal of information that can be mined from all of our photos. And while they aren’t discussing how they will eventually monetize the service, you would have to guess that all those photos of your baby will lead to more ads appearing for diapers and the cutest infant clothing. Or if the baby photos were taken in 1999, perhaps the ads will be coming from car companies and universities.
While that can be a little creepy, I suppose if I am getting ads appearing in my searches, I would actually prefer that the ads are for things that are relevant to me. Is this a step in direction of more perfect information or just too much information? I guess we will find out.
I am guessing that none of our government agency clients will be using this service. But it will be interesting to see if any of our non-government customers will take the plunge. I would think for most companies a few hundred dollars a year to store your GPS photos is worth the added privacy.