WHATSAPP will charge users if they want to keep their old photos and messages exceeding the limit of 15GB of free storage.
The Meta-owned company warned its billions of users that their content will now count towards their 15GB of free Google Photos storage if they have an Android device, and if they exceed that figure, customers will need to fork out for additional memory.
In a blog post, Google's community manager warned of the impending change, writing: “As an important heads up, WhatsApp backups on Android will soon start counting toward your Google Account cloud storage limit, similar to how WhatsApp backups are handled on other mobile platforms.
“WhatsApp backups on Android will continue to work, as long as you have available space within your Google Account storage. If you hit your storage limit, you’ll need to free up space to resume backups by removing items you do not need.”
The update will begin to arrive to WhatsApp Beta testers next month, before an official launch to all users of the platform on Android sometime in early 2024.
Of the estimated three billion users of the platform, around 73% use an Android device.
The tech giant claimed that the update will improve security for its users.
For those that exceed 15GB of storage, there are several upgrade options for Google Photos, with the cheapest monthly subscription of $1.99 (R38) netting the user 100GB of storage.