Google has warned WhatsApp users that backing up old conversations, photos and videos “will not be free” soon.
Now, messages and media on the popular messaging app will count toward the cloud storage limit of the user’s Google account if he or she is using an Android device.
Personal Google accounts come with 15GB of free storage space, however they are shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. This means that any additional photos, videos and audio files from WhatsApp may force many users to pay for additional storage space.
“As an important heads-up, WhatsApp backups on Android will soon start counting toward your Google account’s cloud storage limit, similar to how WhatsApp backups are handled on Android,” a Google community manager wrote in a post on Tuesday. Other mobile platforms.
He added: “WhatsApp backups on Android will continue to work, as long as you have available space in your Google account storage space. If you reach your storage limit, you will need to free up space to resume backups by removing items that “You don’t need it.”
The change will begin rolling out to WhatsApp Beta users next month, before reaching all users of the app on Android in early 2024.
There are several pricing options for additional Google storage space, with the cheapest monthly plan for 100GB of data starting at $1.99.
The update comes amid a major overhaul of how Google manages online accounts and data, with all personal accounts that had been inactive for more than two years deleted in December.
The move is intended to improve security for active users, although some have pointed out that it may inadvertently affect people who have created accounts for young children in order to share memories and milestones, as well as users who control the accounts of deceased relatives.
Meta distracts attention from an “investigation targeting it” by referring to “Apple and Google”!
Meta called on US lawmakers to regulate Google and Apple’s app stores to protect children, on the same day the Senate began investigating Meta’s failure to protect children who use its platforms.
Antigone Davis, head of global safety at Meta, called for federal legislation that would require app stores to notify parents when a child between the ages of 13 and 16 downloads an app, as parental consent would be required.
Children under the age of 13 are already prohibited from creating accounts and downloading apps without parental consent.
The Meta blog post did not mention Google or Apple by name, but the two companies operate the largest smartphone app stores in the world. Any legislation regulating children’s app downloads will inevitably target Apple and Google.
The state of Utah, for example, began requiring parents of boys under the age of 18 to agree to use TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and other apps in March, to preserve “the mental health of our youth,” he said. State Governor Spencer Cox.
Davis’ invitation was published on the same day that the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, asking him to “provide documents relating to senior executives’ knowledge of mental and physical health harms associated with its platforms.” The letter requests documents to be provided by November 30. Google, Apple, or Meta data was not available at the time of writing.
The Senate committee’s preliminary investigation comes a week after a former high-ranking Meta employee testified before its members about the harm Instagram could cause to children, including his daughter. He said Meta leaders ignored his concerns when he raised them internally.
“I appear before you today as a father who has first-hand experience with a child who received unwanted sexual advances on Instagram,” Arturo Biggar, former Instagram engineering director, told a panel of senators.
The same topic was a major focus of another testimony into Meta’s wrongdoing, in which Frances Haugen leaked internal documents to the US government about how company executives ignored warnings about the harmful effects of social media use on teenage girls. She testified before Congress in October 2021.