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Amazon Prime's unlimited photo storage just became shareable — and searchable

Amazon Prime’s unlimited photo storage just got even more unlimited — today, the online retailer announced the Family Vault, which allows Prime members to share that unlimited photo storage with up to five people.

The new feature is designed to help families share and easily access images, so relatives of Prime members can now easily order prints from Amazon’s new photo printing service, for example. Moreover, individuals with shared access aren’t limited to downloading the stored images, but can upload their own images for sharing or simply safeguarding.

Related: Amazon raises free shipping minimum for those without Prime memberships to $50

The unlimited photo storage heads to Prime members with no additional cost and also includes 5GB of video and non-photo file storage. The platform can be used by uploading shots individually, or by setting up automatic backups to safeguard images in the event of a hard drive failure.

The new photo storage also introduces a search engine that can find the objects and people shown in the photographs, using the image itself and not user-added keywords. According to Amazon, the updated photo storage platform now allows Prime members to search by person as well as by typing in keywords like “sunset” or “wedding” when looking for a certain shot. Along with the new facial detection and object recognition, images can also be searched by date and location.

“Prime members love the benefit of unlimited photo storage but often struggle to collect and organize photos across multiple devices and accounts into a single, shareable archive,” said Amazon Prime Photos Director David Nenke. “We launched the Family Vault to make it easy for family members to safely store and share all their favorite moments.”

The update also brings integration with the photo printing service Amazon launched last month, making it easier for Prime members to order prints and photobooks directly from their Prime Photos account, with free shipping.

Amazon Prime may be based on free two-day shipping, but the expanded photo storage tools could be a big perk for members, since high resolution images can be stored uncompressed and the photos are now easier to share and search. The upgraded photo storage joins Amazon Primes video and music streaming options as part of the $99 annual subscription.

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