Now, it’s happening, as users who are part of WhatsApp’s beta testing program are reporting their chat and media backups are counted as part of their Google Drive storage limit (via Gizmochina). For free users, that’s 15GB in total (all of which is shared for your Google Drive, Google Photos, and Gmail).
That’s similar to what WhatsApp users on iPhone and iOS have been experiencing for years – the only difference is that the free cloud storage tier on the iOS is limited to 5GB, not 15GB like Google’s.
So, the plan is for Meta, WhatsApp’s parent company, to enforce the backup storage change to all Android users in the first half of 2024. Users will receive a 30-day notification beforehand, displayed as a banner in the app’s Chat Backup settings.
For those who do not want anything WhatsApp-related to occupy their Google Drive gigabytes, there are alternative options available:
- You can do local backups and use the built-in WhatsApp Chat Transfer tool to seamlessly migrate your data to a new device.
- Or you can be space-efficient and back up only text messages, excluding media files.