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Canada Blog

Google Photos: One year, 200 million users, and a whole lot of selfies

Just over a year ago, we introduced Google Photos with one mission: To be a home for all your photos and videos, organized and brought to life, so that you can share and save what matters.

Now 200 million of you are using Google Photos each month. We’ve delivered more than 1.6 billion animations, collages and movies, among other things. You’ve collectively freed up 13.7 petabytes of storage on your devices—it would take 424 years to swipe through that many photos! We’ve also applied 2 trillion labels, and 24 billion of those have been for ... selfies.

To celebrate our first birthday, we’ve gathered a few of the team's favourite tips and updates we’ve made in the past year, so you can keep all that good stuff going…

1. To fly through Google Photos on the web at, press Shift-? to see a list of keyboard shortcuts.

2. Narrow down your search results by searching for more than one thing at a time. Search for two people: “Mom and Dad,” or a person and a place: “Mom Muskoka,” a place and a thing: “Muskoka bear” or a person and a thing: “Mom bear” to find that photo of your mama bear with the real bear.

3. Running out of Google storage? On, under settings, you can choose to convert all of your uploaded content from “Original quality” to the free “High quality” size to recover lots of space.

4. Enter your favorite emoji (😎 🍂 💗 🎂 ) into search to pull up your corresponding photos. Not joking.

5. On, easily find the photos you recently uploaded by going to search, then choosing "Show More” and then “Recently Added.”

6. Tap into your device folders from the top of the albums page on Android, and see which folders are being backed up. Double-check that all those screenshots are safe!

7. Create a shared album for your family. Every time someone adds a new photo, everyone will get a notification so they can see your latest photo or video.

8. Occasionally photos can appear out of order in your gallery—perhaps because the date was incorrectly set on your phone or camera when you took them. On, you can edit both the time and time zone of a photo or group of photos to put them in the right order in your library. Change one and they all get adjusted.

9. At the top of the albums page on mobile, scroll the carousel to the right and tap on the videos tile to get a view of all the videos in your library (on, you’ll see videos at the top of the album page).

Thanks for a wonderful first year—keep it up; all those selfies aren’t going to take themselves!