Google photo & gmail storage costs slashed

In an effort to recruit more subscribers to its PicasaWeb storage services, today Google drastically cut prices for the cloud-based service while hoping to undercut competitors.

“While store costs have been dropping naturally, we’ve also been working hard to improve our infrastructure to reduce costs even further,” a recent post on the Official Gmail Blog reads.  “Today, we’re dramatically lowering our prices to make extra storage more affordable.”

As the image indicates, the base package of 20GB of storage per year is available for $5 per year, while 1TB of storage is $256.00 every 12 months.  Picasa only supports JPG images, so photographers will have to convert all TIFF, RAW and PSD pictures.

Google claims the 20GB account for $5 per year can hold 10,000 full-resolution images.  Other similar photo data storage services, such as Smugmug and Phanfare are available for $39.99 and $49.99 per year, respectively.  Mozy offers unlimited image backup for $50 per year, with other services also offering unlimited data storage for around $50.

An interesting tidbit is that the extra space not used is shared with a person’s Gmail e-mail account, adding the paid storage to the free amount of space offered.

Picasa isn’t one of Google’s largest services, but the Mountain View-based company is still holding on to its photo storage services.  The online photo backup service also has face recognition, photo editing and  integrated advertisements to a user’s Picasa site.  Although Google is forcing Picasa to evolve, Yahoo’s Flickr photo storage remains the most popular online photo service.

Flickr “pro” accounts are available for $25 per year and include unlimited photo uploads and storage.