Google likes to talk about its stable of billion-user products — apps and services that have more than 1 billion people around the world using them.
Google Drive isn’t one of them just yet. But in April, it quietly passed another major milestone.
2 million files are now stored on the file-hosting service.
Prabhakar Raghavan, Google’s vice-president responsible for G Suite in Google Cloud, told Business Insider the stat at the Google Cloud Next event in London on Tuesday.
At the Google offices, the exec said employees working on Google Drive are greeted with a very visible reminder of the product’s progress since its launch in April 2012: “If you ever go to Drive’s headquarters, you’ll see this huge display up there that shows the number of monthly active users, and another one that shows the number of objects.”
Google Drive passed the 800 million user mark in January 2016. “Those numbers are powering ahead, I think principally because people are increasingly moving content to the cloud, and we’ll be sure to tell you when we hit a billion.”
Meanwhile, the number of files or “objects” passed two trillion in April. That’s 2,000,000,000,000.
(That figure includes photos, videos, documents, and all other kinds of files.)
It’s not clear exactly how many files some of Google Drive’s competitors host. In February 2016, Apple said it had 782 million users of iCloud — its cloud services — but not all of those may use it for file storage.
And Dropbox says it has half a billion registered accounts as of March 2016. Registered accounts don’t necessarily translate into active users, however. Raghavan said Google Drive has more than 800 million monthly active users — but “several billion” accounts overall.
The exec declined to say exactly how many users it has, or the rate at which it’s growing. But he said he doesn’t expect it to hit 1 billion users before the end of 2017.
When it does, though, it will be in good company. Google has more than half a dozen products with more than a billion users, including search, Maps, YouTube, Android, Gmail, and Chrome.
Facebook also has a handful, including WhatsApp, Messenger, and the core Facebook app.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg has even said a product isn’t a real business until it passes the three-comma milestone: “This may sound a little ridiculous to say, but for us, products don’t really get that interesting to turn into businesses until they have about 1 billion people using them.”
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