WhatsApp could soon let you manage your chat backup size

WhatsApp might be more popular than Telegram, but it’s not quite as feature-rich as its competition. Slowly but steadily, though, the Facebook-owned messaging service has been adding new features to the platform, with encrypted chat backups, multi-device support, voice message transcriptions, and more in development. WABetaInfo has now discovered another new feature that’s in development in WhatsApp for Android: a way to control the size of backups.

The size of full chat backups for heavy WhatsApp users can easily run into a few gigabytes. The most obvious way to reduce this is by not backing up media files with chat history, which might not be acceptable for everyone.

The upcoming “Manage backup size” option will provide users with granular controls over their WhatsApp chat backups and allow them to archive only important file types like photos, documents, videos, and audio. WhatsApp will also provide a real-time estimate of your chat database size based on your backup selection.

There could be another reason why WhatsApp is working on this feature, though. WhatsApp backups to Google Drive currently do not count against your account storage quota. However, WABetaInfo speculates that this could change in the future, with Google only offering a limited plan with up to 2GB of free space per user for WhatsApp chat backups. This means that larger backups could partially count against your Google account storage quota.

Google has been getting a little stingy towards offering free storage recently. It killed the free Google Photos backup plan earlier this year despite its popularity and usefulness. With WhatsApp being used by over 2 billion active users worldwide, it won’t be surprising if Google did something similar for WhatsApp chat backups as well.