The change introduced by WhatsApp is a significant turning point for the app and its users, and one that is decidedly underappreciated.

WhatsApp, the most popular messaging app in the world, has introduced a change that is causing quite a bit of controversy among users. The reason for such concern lies in the fact that a very important service offered by the app, so far free for all Android users, will soon become premium. The company has already started the countdown: at the end of the thirty day notice, if the service in question is to be maintained, all users will have to start paying.

Bad news for Android users who use WhatsApp – Sjbeez

The change in question concerns message backup, a service that had been free since 2018, since storage data was exempt from counting the total data hosted in the Google account storage space. However, in November 2023, Meta announced the end of this free benefit, with WhatsApp backups now helping to take up Drive storage space.

WhatsApp forces its users to pay for a service that, for many, is essential

The dreaded change is rolling out gradually and is expected to reach all WhatsApp Android users in the first half of 2024. Screenshots and testimonials have confirmed that a new entry related to WhatsApp backups has appeared in the "More" section of Google accounts One, taking users to a space management page where they can view occupied space and decide to delete bulky files.

WhatsApp will force its users to pay for message backup – Sjbeez

This change has sparked very strong reactions in the user community, many of whom rely on WhatsApp not only for personal but also professional communication. The ability to maintain a safe and accessible archive of conversations was considered a fundamental pillar of the user experience on WhatsApp, now called into question by the new policy.

The choice that each user will have to face is therefore very difficult. The first option is to no longer back up your data, an impractical alternative for many, especially for those who use WhatsApp for work. In practice, this would mean losing all data. On the other hand, you can choose to continue to keep your data backed up, but this means you will be indirectly forced to pay.

The distribution of this innovation is proceeding gradually, with the aim of reaching all Android users by the first half of 2024. WhatsApp, in any case, has promised to notify users of the change with 30 days’ notice.

Many users have already begun exploring backup alternatives or purchasing additional Google Drive storage, while others are considering lower-cost options. The ability to transfer backups locally between devices is the main free alternative, but for many this solution is neither practical nor desirable.