Amazon Launches New Printing Service To Replace Unlimited Photos Plan
Amazon aims to go toe to toe with companies such as Shutterfly, and to make it happen it recently debuted a service that prints photos and custom photo books.
The service, which is dubbed Amazon Prints, offers free shipping for orders larger than $15, and it's available to all the clients who store their personal images into the Amazon Drive cloud storage.
The enterprise recently pulled the plug on the Unlimited Photos storage plan. The service, which used to cost an annual $12 fee, is now gone from the official Amazon webpage.
The company sent out a series of emails to its Unlimited Photos subscribers recommending them to choose the unlimited storage plan instead. The only catch is that the plan is five times more expensive than the axed service, as it asks users to shell out $60 per year.
Amazon Prints allows users to print photos for as low as $0.09 per piece, while printing photo books asks them to pay $20. The company touts that users may also print calendars and various stationery, which could be very handy for businesses.
If you store your photos on Amazon Drive, you can print those as well. Just keep in mind that, at the moment, the service is only open to U.S. customers who use Prime Photos or Amazon Drive.
The announcement of Amazon's new service caused ripples in the market value for rival Shutterfly, which lost 12 percent. Bloomberg reports that this is the biggest value drop for the company since 2008.
Amazon's customer service offered subscribers of Unlimited Photos the possibility to get free trials for unlimited storage, as shown by emails.
"To replace your current plan, we are giving you 12 free months of the Unlimited Storage plan," the email reads.
The strange thing is that some users were offered three months trials, while others received much longer subscription trials, up to one year long.
According to the Amazon Drive website, Prime Photos is included in the Amazon Prime service. This means that Prime subscribers will be keeping their unlimited photo storage despite the recent changes.
However, it is unclear what will happen to the data of customers who refuse to sign up for the more expensive plan.
If your reaction was "why not simply move them to another cloud service," think again. Users are complaining that they cannot export their own images to Google Drive or even download them from Amazon's.
"$12 to $55, nice screw you markup," one users points out.
Earlier this year, Amazon offered three-month trials for its Cloud Drive storage service.
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