Recently, some users of Google's Picasa Web service noticed something odd. Like Gmail, Picasa Web tells you how much of your total available storage you're using. Something appeared to be wrong, however -- users were reporting having more free space than they previously had. It's common for Google to silently bump our upper storage limits, but how were these users showing the same number of photos and far less of their storage used?
Turns out it's a change in Picasa Web policy, and a darn nice one at that: images under 800 pixels and video clips under 15 minutes no longer count against your storage limit.
That's certainly great news for anyone who uses Picasa Web to store images for blogging -- 800px is plenty wide for most layouts. It also makes Picasa Web a great place to upload and share all the lower-resolution photos you snap on your Android phone.
As for the 15 minute videos (which arguably take up more more drive space than an 800px photo)? Google has a voracious appetite for video, and might just be hoping that Picasa Web users will help it maintain its dominant position in terms of serving videos on the Web.