Google has announced that it will no longer backup media from chat apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter to Google Photos. The company was testing this change earlier this month and has now rolled it out to all Google Photos users.
The company is only changing the default settings in Google Photos to ensure that it does not backup media content from messaging apps. The move is a temporary one by Google and it notes in its announcement that since people are sharing more photos and videos, it is changing the default Google Photos settings "to save internet resources." A notification for this change will also show up in the Google Photos app. The full list of apps was not announced by Google but the confirmed apps include WhatsApp, Messages, Kik, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LINE.
Your existing chat media that's backed up to Google Photos will not be affected by this change in any way. You can also manually enable the feature from within the Google Photos app to ensure that all your chat media continues to get backed up.
Google had previously throttled streaming on YouTube to help preserve internet resources. Netflix and other streaming providers had also made similar changes a couple of months ago.