Amazon Prime Adds Unlimited Photo Storage, But There’s A Catch

Amazon Prime saw an announced upgrade to its Cloud Drive service. Users of Amazon Prime have access to five gigabytes of storage as part of their account, but now the service has expanded with unlimited photo storage. There are caveats, however, including file types and sizes that are allowed, and what the storage can be used for.

Amazon Prime is a $99 per year service, and the new update has been dubbed Prime Photos, allowing users to upload photos through their Android, iOS, Windows, or Mac computers, says Money Talks. Amazon Prime began as a free two-day shipping option on all purchases. Over time, other services were added, including streaming movies and television shows (Prime Instant Video), e-book sharing (Kindle Lending Library), and more. The service boasts “tens of millions” of users globally (Amazon does not give specific statistics).

According to Business Insider, Amazon does not make money from Amazon Prime directly, as the membership fees likely do not pay for the services’ costs, but Prime members tend to spend far more on Amazon than do non-Prime members. They spend almost double, Business Insider says, quoting an RBC study.

The caveats to the new Amazon Prime Photos are ones that most home users and non-professionals will be able to live with. The free storage is limited to only specific photo types, which include most of the popular formats such as JPG, GIF, RAW, and others. The press release from Amazon details the photo file types and their maximum individual size limit, which is 2GB. That latter limitation would preclude most professional photographers from uploading original versions of their photos, which can be and often are larger than that. Amazon adds the further caveat that Prime Photos are only for personal, non-commercial use.

Although Inquisitr readers may be concerned about privacy and what happens to the photos uploaded to Amazon Prime if the Prime membership lapses, Information Week says that a 60-day window to retrieve stored files is given for lapsed or cancelled memberships. As for privacy, Amazon has promised that Prime members’ Cloud storage is private and secure.

The unlimited photo storage service for Amazon Prime members is limited to photos only (in the file types listed) and does not apply to other items (video, documents) that are in the user’s personal Cloud account. Further, as Money Talks also points out, the Amazon Prime Cloud does not have two-factor authentication for security, which many other photo and file storage services do.