Google Photos is testing a “Monthly Photo Prints” subscription service that uses the company’s algorithms to automatically select and print your 10 “best” photos each month. Could Google help bring the 4×6 print back from the dead?
The service, which was spotted by a reader at 9to5Google, seems to be an add-on/alternative to the recent print offering that Google Photos launched with Walmart and CVS. But rather than relying on you, the user, to remember that you actually want to print your memories, Google’s algorithms would do all the heavy lifting.
Based on screenshots acquired by 9to5Google, all you have to do is choose the kinds of photos you prefer by selecting one of three categories: Mostly People and Pets, Mostly Landscapes, or A Little Bit of Everything. Once you’ve made your choice, Google uses your preferences to automatically select 10 photos to print every 30 days, sending you 4×6-inch prints on white matte cardstock with a 1/8-inch border.
The page does mention that you have the option to “edit your selection before they’re printed each month,” but it’s obvious that the whole point of this service is to be as hands-off as possible.
There’s no question printing has gone “out of style” despite everyone from Google to Amazon launching easy and cheap services for converting smartphone snaps into 4×6-prints. It’s a shame, especially considering the fact that we’re taking more pictures now than ever before in recorded history; maybe a monthly subscription could actually convince the general public to start printing their snapshots again.
The subscription costs $8/month, and is currently in the “trial” phase. Users who have been selected to participate will see a banner that reads “you’re invited to the monthly photo prints trial” at the top of your Google Photos homepage.