Google And WhatsApp both announced that starting in December for WhatsApp beta users, chat history, including images and videos, will once again reduce Google Drive storage, whether you have the company’s free 15GB plan or whether you pay for storage.
WhatsApp said the change would affect all its Android users in the first half of 2024 and that it would notify users 30 days in advance. The notification will appear as a banner in Settings > Chat > Chat Backup.
Users who do not wish to use their Google account for backups will have the option to use the WhatsApp chat transfer when they upgrade to a new Android device, which works wirelessly as long as Wi-Fi is enabled on both phones. (No network connection is necessary: this is a direct transfer.)
Google has hinted that nothing about WhatsApp backups will change, other than the potential for storage limits affecting the ability to continue backing up your data to the cloud. If you delete items in WhatsApp, it will delete them in your cloud backup, which can help you save space in Drive. And naturally, it steers users toward its Google One subscriptions if they want to upgrade to more storage. Google says it will offer “limited, one-time Google One promotions to eligible users.”
Notably, this is no different to how WhatsApp works on iOS, except that Apple still only offers 5GB of cloud storage to non-paying users.