The terms of service for WhatsApp’s chat backup feature on Android smartphones have been formally updated. The most recent upgrade states that Google Drive backups of WhatsApp conversations will no longer be free and will use up storage space from your Google account.
WhatsApp beta users are already subject to the new regulation, and regular users will soon follow suit in the coming months. This is not a sudden change as WhatsApp has traditionally restricted chat backups on iOS devices to the 5 GB free storage restriction on iCloud.
Currently, Google gives every account 15 GB of free cloud storage. But this storage is shared by a number of services, including Google Photos, Gmail, and others. It may be necessary for users of WhatsApp on Android devices to choose a Google One subscription in order to completely backup their conversations and media files.
Google has been putting a lot of effort into marketing Google One Cloud. Notably, Google stopped providing free unlimited storage on Google Photos, which led a lot of people to continue storing up their images and videos with Google One subscriptions.
How can I keep using Google Drive to backup my WhatsApp chat data for free?
You can keep backing up your WhatsApp chats for free if you have enough free storage left over after using up your allocated 15 GB on Google Drive. In addition, you may reduce the file size before uploading by removing unwanted stuff from WhatsApp.
Moreover, WhatsApp significantly decreases the size of chat backups by allowing users to keep only text messages and exclude media (photos and videos). Notably, WhatsApp allows users to move conversations across phones without depending on cloud backup, which is helpful for people who switch smartphones frequently.
The least expensive option is the Google One cloud subscription, which costs Rs 130 per month or Rs 1300 per year and offers 100 GB of cloud storage (including the 15 GB) in addition to other Google Photos features and other benefits.