Google Photos is less than half a year old, but it’s already hit a major milestone with more than 100 million monthly active users, the company announced today. The unlimited photo service comes with apps available on iOS, Android, and on the web, and it was spun off from the company’s Google+ social network in May, to much rejoicing. Google Photos was hailed at launch for its simplicity and for combining many of the disparate features of competitors like Dropbox’s Carousel, Apple’s iCloud, and Yahoo’s Flickr into a single service.
To hit 100 million users in just five months is no easy feat. It took both Pinterest and Twitter about five years to hit that benchmark. Even Instagram’s explosive popularity back in 2010 meant it still took the startup around two and a half years to reach the 100 million mark. But online photo storage has been a notoriously tough tech problem to crack, as users entrenched in one service find it difficult to switch to another. When a good one comes along, it tends to keep users hooked, as Google’s apparently has. Granted, Google makes it easier to sign up as it gives the service away on the web to anyone with a Gmail account. It also may have had a head start by migrating users of its old Google+ photos service over to the new one.
Google also announced some interesting factoids today regarding how people have used Photos thus far. For instance, Google has freed up 3,720 terabytes of storage on users’ smartphones thanks to its auto-upload feature. And it may not come as a surprise, but mountains, beaches, and skies all crack the top 10 list of most-photographed scenery. Google Photos algorithmically organizes your library so searching for any one of those identifiers should pull your picturesque landscape shots.