Google Maps is currently free, and, for the vast majority of us will always stay that way. However, Google have today announced that heavy users of their mapping service will face a premium charge in the near future.
So what constitutes heavy usage?
In Google’s books, that’s around 25,000 hits or more per day. In other words, this is a charge that’s most likely to hit the pockets of very large businesses rather than casual users; the likes of popular shops, hotels or visitor attractions that host a Google Maps link on their websites.
It’s a move that Google believe will affect no more than 0.35% of all users, and should stay relatively affordable for those who are affected, with suggested pricing coming in at around $4 for every 1,000 views.
“We understand that the introduction of these limits may be concerning,” said Thor Mitchell, product manager of the Maps API at Google.
“However, with the continued growth in adoption of the Maps API, we need to secure its long-term future by ensuring that even when used by the highest-volume for-profit sites, the service remains viable.”