Google is considering making users pay for this popular feature

Google is considering making users pay for this popular feature

Despite being the most visited website each day, Google is continuing to evolve with the rapidly changing digital landscape. One of their popular tools is Gemini, an advanced AI tool, and it could change how Google operates.

Google is used by millions of users each day, resulting in several billion searches. In a step to optimise and improve the worlds most popular search engine, Google has turned to AI. A basic version of Gemini AI can be accessed for users, but a more powerful version is currently being offered as part of the Google One subscription. It is also considering offering advanced features, based on generative AI, on its search engine for paying subscribers.

In addition to traditional online storage, this somewhat special subscription also provides access to Gemini Advanced. While the free version of Gemini uses the Gemini Pro 1.0 model, this paid offer uses Gemini Ultra 1.0, which is more powerful. The Google One AI Premium subscription also allows users to benefit from Gemini artificial intelligence in services such as Gmail, Google Docs, and others.

And apparently, Google could also introduce advanced search features, powered by Gemini, to users of its new paid subscription. For now, no official announcement has been made on this matter. However, in an article published this week, the Financial Times (via Reuters) cites sources close to the matter who have mentioned this project. In summary, Google is considering offering premium features, based on generative artificial intelligence, on Google Search. However, the subscription would not eliminate advertising from the search engine but would only provide access to new features. "We are not working on or considering an ad-free search experience. As we have done several times before, we will continue to develop new premium features and services to enhance our subscription offerings on Google," the company told Reuters.

Subscriptions to diversify revenue sources Today, Google relies heavily on its advertising revenue. But in recent years, the company has tried to diversify by offering subscriptions that allow users to enjoy premium features. And while subscription revenues are still far from surpassing those from advertising, the number of people using subscriptions like Google One or YouTube Premium continues to increase. Today, YouTube Premium and Google One each have over 100 million subscribers. 

In 2023, Google subscriptions generated $15 billion. "Subscriptions are growing strongly, thanks to YouTube Premium and Music, YouTube TV, and Google One," Sundar Pichai revealed during an investor conference call this year. It is likely that, thanks to the new Google One AI Premium offering and the various AI-based features it offers on its different products, Google hopes to increase these figures in 2024.