WhatsApp charges: Will messenger app charge users for online backup storage on Google Drive and Android?

A change to WhatsApp backup could mean users will face Google storage charges

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WhatsApp users on Android devices are being warned that soon, their WhatsApp backups will count towards their Google Account storage limit, meaning many users may have to fork out for extra cloud storage. Currently, backing up your messages, photos and videos from WhatsApp is free, but when the change is implemented, you will only be able to back up your content if you have space available on your Google Account.

To get more storage, you'll need to pay for it. The update will initially reach WhatsApp Beta users next month, gradually extending to all Android WhatsApp users by early 2024. A spokesperson for Google said: “Going forward, WhatsApp backup experience on Android will be in line with how it works on other platforms, with the added benefit of Google's 15 GB of storage available at no charge.”

If you don't have sufficient cloud storage on your account, and opt not to pay for an upgrade, your old chats, photos and videos could vanish. However, 15GB of free storage is quite a lot, and if you don't send a lot of pictures or videos, you're unlikely to reach the cap with messages alone. However more visual WhatsApp users might soon find their total racking up - roughly speaking, 15GB equates to about five hours of high-definition footage.

The new update coincides with a significant restructuring of Google's management of online accounts. Out of approximately three billion global WhatsApp users, more than two-thirds use the app on Android.

A Google community manager wrote in a blog post: “As an important heads up, WhatsApp backups on Android will soon start counting toward your Google Account cloud storage limit, similar to how WhatsApp backups are handled on other mobile platforms. WhatsApp backups on Android will continue to work, as long as you have available space within your Google Account storage. If you hit your storage limit, you’ll need to free up space to resume backups by removing items you do not need.”

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