Android: Android smartphone users are losing their biggest ‘WhatsApp advantage’

Android smartphone users are set to lose their biggest ‘WhatsApp advantage’. Google and WhatsApphave announced a change where WhatsApp chat and media backups on Android devices will be counted towards users’ Google account cloud storage. “WhatsApp chat and media backups on Android will start counting toward your Google Account cloud storage limit from December 2023 onward,” said Google in a statement.For those unaware, so far Google offered Android smartphone users free storage to take backup of their WhatsApp chats. This free storage is over and above the 15GB storage that comes with every Google account.
Google account storage
Google offers 15GB of free storage with every Google Account. This 15GB is shared across Gmail, Google Drive and Google Photos. This change is rolling out starting December 2023 for WhatsApp Beta users and will “slowly roll out to all WhatsApp Android users across the first half of 2024.” There will be a banner in WhatsApp Settings > Chats > Chat backup “30 days before this change happens.”
In the statement, the company noted that the storage it offers free is three times more than what Apple offers in iCloud. The free storage offered with Google accounts is “3X more than most mobile platforms” in a shot at iOS and iCloud. Yet Google also points out that the “WhatsApp backup experience on Android will be in line with how it works on other platforms.”
What if users hit storage limit
If users hit their storage limit, they will be required to free up space to resume backups by removing items they do not need.
Google already offers storage management tools to quickly bulk delete photos and other large files that date back to when it made changes to its Google Photos backup policy. Another suggestion is deleting items from WhatsApp, thus “reducing storage used by your next WhatsApp backup.”
To help users with the transition, Google plans to soon provide eligible users limited, one-time Google One promotions.
These changes that start rolling out in December will apply to personal Google Accounts: “If you have a Google Workspace subscription through work or school, your storage quota is not impacted at this time.”
“We’ll continue to work with WhatsApp to provide you with reliable and secure backup support. Please stay tuned for more updates,” concludes Google statement.