When Google rolled out the revamped Photos service in 2015 with a bold promise: free photo and video uploads from your phone as long as you let Google compress your data a bit. Google is making a slight change to that deal now. As of December 6th, videos in unsupported formats are no longer included in the free storage deal.
The only indication of this change is on the Google support site, where someone added the following notice.
That’s on the unsupported video page, so your files are likely still free. Google Photos supports almost any video format you can imagine. The full list includes .mpg, .mod, .mmv, .tod, .wmv, .asf, .avi, .divx, .mov, .m4v, .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .m2t, .m2ts, .mts, and .mkv files.
It’s rare you’d come across anything else like a VOB or RAW video from a high-end camera, but it’s not impossible. Those will take up storage space going forward. It’s also possible Google Photos users are fiddling with file containers to make large, non-video files look like videos. Something like that might have counted as free storage in the past but no more. We’ve asked Google for more clarification on the change and will update if we hear anything.