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Amazon Now Lets Prime Members Share Their Unlimited Photo Storage

By Kishore Sawh on November 21st 2015


If you’ve been alive and old enough to read since the dawn of this new millennium, there are certain companies that have bulldozed their way into your attention with or without your consent; Apple, Google, and Amazon are probably the three that first come to mind. Each has been disruptive in their own right, with everyone and their grandmother using Google and Apple products and services. Amazon has sort of been there, but trailing. Its ecosystem is arguably the least adopted of the three, but Amazon is pulling out stops to be more competitive.

It may surprise you to hear that Ben Schachter, an analyst at Macquarie Securities, had commented that he believed that half of American households would be ‘Prime’ (Amazon Prime) members by 2020. That’s an astonishing claim, given that what Prime is most commonly associated with is ‘free’ 2-day shipping, and more recently, access to a plethora of movies and music, and unlimited image storage at an annual cost of $99.



So it’s not dear, but it’s not cheap. It’s also incredible considering there are somewhere in the vicinity of 120 million households in the US, meaning there need to be 60 million Prime subscribers to hit the prediction. Even MORE incredible is the fact that reports suggest there are already over 40 million Prime members…and probably about to be more, because they’ve just updated their policy on unlimited photo storage by making it shareable.

Up until now, if you were a Prime member, you had all the benefits mentioned above. You also were able to share those benefits with a small number of people through their ‘Households’ program, which allows shared access to books, apps, and media across the Amazon system. This, however, didn’t apply to the unlimited photo storage, as only the account holder had that privilege, but now it can be shared by one other as well. So basically, if you buy Prime, it pretty much fully serves 2 people. So while it’s not a major free-for-all, it’s effectively doubling the exposure to Amazon’s Cloud Drive services, as the newly added person will have their own account and own 5GB storage for whatever else they want.



Just in case you weren’t aware or had forgotten, Amazon Prime photo storage will store your images without the compromise of size, so they will be kept full resolution and even as RAW files – unlimited. That’s pretty damn incredible because nowhere else offers that really, though there is a drawback that’s a bitter pill to swallow. The thing is, should you decide to no longer be a Prime member and not pay for the less expensive Cloud Drive-only plan, Amazon will delete those images. But hey, that’s sort of the nature of these things.

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Dave Haynie

    Unlimited size and format…hmm… I have a few 3-6GB TIFFs I might try as a test case :-) Sure, I’m already a Prime member, didn’t even know about the photo thing, but I’ll definitely check it out.

    I can see full resolution automatic upload from one’s phone as being a popular item, given all the people who think phones are cameras, and the removal of add-on storage (which costs about $1.50 to add) from nearly every premium smartphone this year (kudos to LG for keeping removable batteries and SD storage). Your better-than-ever smartphone camera has no place to keep your shots.

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    • Bill Bentley

      “I can see full resolution automatic upload from one’s phone as being a popular item..”

      Probably too much of a hit on ones data cap though, unless it’s just the occasional “keeper”. At least for those with 1GB and under plans. Better to transfer to desktop first and then to Prime.

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    • Dave Haynie

      Good point, Bill… I will admit to being used to my unlimited account, still active on Verizon. I’m currently looking into an unlimited Wifi hotspot and a lower-cost plan on another carrier myself. Though you might do ok with it if you can set Wifi-only, which is a common option.

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  2. Paul Empson

    unlimited.. $990 over 10 years.. for personal photos.. not business.. it’s an expensive option.. maybe if every shot people take is a keeper.. and they take lots.. it may just be worth paying for.. just..

    I think the fee highlights the need for a more rigerous critique of what constitutes a keeper..

    I’d have thought the, free, quota given by many email providers would be enough for most peoples best work..

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  3. Brandon Dewey

    Ive been a prime member for a few years now and the unlimited storage back up alone is wroth the $99 dollars not to mention all of the other perks.

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  4. Andy & Amii Kauth

    That is pretty incredible … seems like there should be a catch other than the $99. We have Prime and don’t use it for any type of storage and rarely use it for movies, music, etc. … Mostly we like to share the 2-day shipping with our mothers … :)

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