Google wants WhatsApp users to buy Google One storage to backup chats and videos
Today, you can back-up unlimited WhatsApp chats and videos to your Google account without affecting the free 15GB storage. But this is about to change beginning next month.
According to an official Google announcement, WhatsApp backups on Android will soon start counting toward the free 15GB cloud storage limit included when you sign up for a Google account. Essentially, this means Android users may soon be forced to purchase Google One storage in order to create more room for WhatsApp backups.
As long as your Google account has enough free storage, WhatsApp will keep backing up your chats and videos as usual. But once you hit the 15GB limit, which also includes files stored in Google Photos, Google Drive and Gmail, you’ll need to free up space to resume WhatsApp backups by removing items you do not need. Alternatively, you’ll have to purchase Google One cloud storage, which is perhaps what Google is banking on. In fact, the search giant has plans “to help you with the transition” by providing “eligible users limited, one-time Google One promotions.”
This latest development is an attempt by Google to aggressively push Android users to sign up for Google One, and continues the subscription model that is increasingly becoming popular among major software brands. But if you are already paying for Google’s cloud storage, this shouldn’t be a major concern. Google also says those with a Workspace subscription through work or school will remain unimpacted for now.
This change will first come to WhatsApp Beta users starting in December 2023 before gradually rolling out to all WhatsApp users on Android from early 2024. This change will bring WhatsApp users on Android in line with the app’s backup experience on other platforms.
WhatsApp recently revealed plans to start showing ads in Channels as it aims to compete with Telegram. But this change goes against these efforts since Telegram still offers unlimited storage for chats.