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With 100 Million Monthly Users, Google Is Ready to Talk About Numbers With Google Photos

Paris, dogs and GIFs FTW.


Love for Google Photos inside the Googleplex overfloweth. At conferences, on earnings calls, in cocktail parties, Google execs shower praise on the cloud photo storage and sharing service it launched back in May. For good reason: It’s a simple, practical product that shows off Google’s machine learning prowess without any of the baggage of Google+, from which it was born.

And people are using it. On Tuesday, the search giant announced that Photos, in its first five months, has crossed 100 million monthly active users.

Google assembled some factoids to accompany the milestone. Paris is the top photographed locale, followed by New York and Barcelona. “Babies” are the top searched-for term. Users created 15 million GIFs. People take more photos of dogs than any other animal. (Take that, cats.) More critically, the service has freed up 3,720 terabytes of data — or, in Google’s words, enough space to fill up a 16 gigabyte phone with photos every day for 637 years.

This glee and transparency stand in sharp contrast to Google+, the social network from which Photos emerged. Google put out monthly active user numbers of around 300 million in 2013, then stalled on releasing more. A year ago, when Re/code asked Google+ director David Besbris about user numbers for the service, he responded: “I don’t want to talk about numbers.”

Times change.

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