Guess what Amazon just added to Prime? Unlimited photo storage, that’s what. Meet the new Amazon Prime Photos. That’s right, they’ve basically added all the functionality of Flickr to Prime. Oh wait, Flickr only gives you a terabyte for free. OK 1 TB is a lot, but not as much as unlimited. In other words, Amazon just ate Flickr’s lunch.
Breaking down Prime
So let’s tally up what you get included in your $99 yearly Amazon Prime subscription:
- Prime Instant Video – Watch an unlimited amount TV shows and movies (their catalog is anemic compared to something like Netflix)
- Prime Music – Streaming music service (slightly less anemic but no match for Spotify or Rdio)
- Kindle Owner’s Lending Library – If you own a Kindle you can borrow half a million different e-book titles
- Prime Photos
- Two-Day shipping for free
Also, unlike a lot of the other players in the online photo storage space, Amazon will let you upload full-size photos without counting against your storage quota and they also support RAW files! Like it’s competitors, there’s a mobile app to go along with the service, and if you like it will auto-upload your photos to the cloud.
Are they crazy? How can they give you unlimited storage?
OK, there are a few limits. Video files DO count against your storage quota. There’s also a 2gb file size limit and videos can’t be longer than 20 minutes. For most people that won’t be an issue. Amazon is also careful to call it a storage service not a backup service. So if something bad happens and you lose some photos…well don’t go crying to Jeff Bezos.
Well, not quite, but pretty darned good. For me, the selling point of Prime is still the upgrade to 2-day shipping and everything else is a bonus. Most of their services are adequate at best, and only to be used because they’re “free” with your Prime membership. The Prime Photo service though is shaping up to be one of their best add-on services. Amazon’s photo service is more feature packed than any of their competitors, and if you already have a Prime membership, it’s free. I haven’t had a chance to play with the interface much but I’m uploading some photos now so I can see how well it works.
Amazon is really making some bold moves with Prime. In the same way that Apple absorbed you into their ecosystem and locked you in to their hardware, Amazon is doing with digital media in general. Kind of genius. Well of course, Amazon still needs to turn a profit…..