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WhatsApp Users Brace for Huge Changes

WhatsApp is a cross-platform messaging device and VoIP (voice over IP) service that is wrapped up into a freeware mobile application. Although the app's roots date back to 2009, it recently gained significant momentum when it was purchased by Facebook in 2014 – its largest acquisition to date. The app saw a massive increase in users shortly thereafter, and it quickly catapulted from 600 million active users in 2014 to more than one billion in 2017.

But all of these users are in for some sweeping changes that will permanently affect the way they use WhatsApp in the future. Some of the highlights include:

- Your data will be deleted. No, this isn't a false alarm. Your WhatsApp files – including images, videos and even chat records – will be deleted with a November update.

- WhatsApp backups will no longer count toward your Google Drive storage limit. To lessen the damage caused by their controversial update, WhatsApp closed a deal with Google to let users upload their WhatsApp data without filling up all their space.

- Group messaging will change, too. Group administrators now have the ability to block non-admins from replying to a particular message or thread. Although they will still be able to see the messages as they're delivered, the only way they can reply is to do so directly with an admin.

As the pending WhatsApp update is only a few weeks away, it's important for users to backup any files they want to save as soon as possible.

'''Backing Up Your Data Before it's Too Late'

To make things as clear as possible, WhatsApp released an official statement reading, in part:
"Starting November 12, 2018, WhatsApp backups will no longer count towards the Google Drive storage quota. Furthermore, WhatsApp backups that haven't been updated in more than one year will be automatically removed from Google Drive storage. To avoid the loss of any backups, we recommend you manually back up your WhatsApp data before November 12, 2018."

They also shed some light on the logistics of backing up user data by stating:
"You can back up your chats and media to Google Drive, so if you change Android phones or get a new one, your chats and media are transferrable. We recommend connecting your phone to Wi-Fi prior to backing up your chats via Google Drive, as backup files can vary in size and consume mobile data, causing additional charges."''

WhatsApp features a simplified backup system that is rather simple and straightforward. After setting up Google Drive on your phone, navigate to the WhatsApp Menu. Choose Settings and then navigate to Chats and, finally, Chat Backup. From here, click on Select Back Up to begin the process.

It's also important to note that your data isn't protected by WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption while it's on the Google Drive servers. This doesn't mean that your information is left vulnerable or exposed – but it does mean that Google will be able to view your information for whatever purposes they choose.

For more information on WhatsApp, including details on the pending update, please visit their official website at {{|}}. To find out more about Google Drive, visit their site at {{|}}.


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