I recently hit a wall on my personal Gmail account when suddenly my inbox went quiet. After a few days of frustration, wondering whether I had suddenly been shut out of the platform, someone reached out via a different method of communication and told me that they couldn’t seem to get through to me on email. They wondered if I had randomly changed my email address, only to realise that I had hit my storage limit.
“Sorry!!! I just had to delete a bunch of emails, I ran out of storage.” This is something you may have heard or may have even had to tell someone who couldn’t reach you on email.
Google shook up the email business when Gmail launched in 2004 with much more free storage than rivals were providing at the time. It boosted the storage cap every couple of years, but in 2013 it stopped. People’s inboxes kept filling up. And now that some of Google’s other free storage offers are shrinking, consumers are beginning to get nasty surprises.
Some of you probably have 1,104 unread emails in your personal Gmail alone but haven’t yet experienced this and may find this surprising. But a recent Bloomberg report suggested this is all part of Google’s master plan: lure us in with free email storage and then make us pay.
Bloomberg’s report reveals that Google has been rolling back its free storage offerings in recent months and pushing people onto its paid cloud subscription service Google One instead. Though the cost for consumers is minimal: like in Australia, 100 GB of storage is $2.49 per month or a discounted $24.99 per year. Given Google’s size, this could generate billions for the company.
Upon doing some calculations, the report shared that even if just 10% of Gmail’s more than one billion users signed up for Google One, it would generate almost US $2.4 billion per year for the company. That’s a lot of money to be paid on people’s reluctance to be managing their inbox.
However, when Google One replaced Drive earlier this year, users still receive 15 GB of storage for free, that didn’t change. But if you are more like me and have spent the past decade not deleting your emails, as well as picking up content to be stored like digital balls of lint, then it might be time for a clean.
Google has even given some handy tips on deleting masses amounts of emails, or else finding and deleting the randomly huge emails taking up way too much of your space.
Better yet, if you’ve got nothing to lose, you can just go nuclear and delete your entire inbox, and hope anything that’s important or urgent will receive a follow up from the sender. This may not be the best first option, but I did it, and as far as I’m aware, nobody died!
At the end of the day, Google is a business and is hoping that you will sign up for extra storage and then forget about those monthly payments for the rest of your life. Don’t do that if you are all about saving some coins, instead, declutter!
But, to check your Gmail account status and view the latest storage plans and prices visit the Google website.