WhatsApp is reportedly working on a new feature that will let users manage cloud storage from the platform more efficiently. Currently, when chat backup is selected, the app starts uploading all media files to Google Drive or iCloud, depending on the smartphone OS. The new feature, spotted by notable WhatsApp update tracker WABetaInfo, will let users exclude specific content such as documents and photos from their cloud backup during the upload process. However, uploading to cloud storage also comes with a price as iCloud requires a subscription and Google Drive only offers 15GB of free storage. Some reports are claiming that this will also mark the end of free on-device storage of WhatsApp, but there’s no clarity on this yet.
The WABetaInfo report calls the feature ‘Manage backup size’ that lets users manage the size of files before uploading begins. As per a screenshot, users will be able to de-select sections like audio, videos, documents, and photos that they don’t want to store on the cloud. WABetaInfo claims that there’s a “good chance that WhatsApp backups on Google Drive will partially be counted.” Until now, WhatsApp backups are not counted against users Google Drive storage quota because of an agreement between Google and Facebook, the report adds. Readers must not that WhatsApp ending free storage might simply be a rumour, and more clarity is awaited.
Recently, the Facebook-owned messaging app started rolling out end-to-end encrypted chat backups for some beta testers. The feature was announced by Facebook earlier this year and will give users an option to choose between a 64-bit encryption key and a cloud-based key with a password. The data will be stored in either Google Drive or iCloud, but everything will be encrypted before uploading. The same publication had spotted the feature on WhatsApp beta for Android version 220.127.116.11. It will continue to roll out over several subsequent app updates, according to the report.