Google Photos will no longer back up images and videos from folders created by messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger — at least for the time being.

Up until now, Photos did that by default, but that won’t be the case going forward. Indeed, users should soon see a notice about the change within the app. That said, the change appears to be temporary (even though it remains unclear until when it’ll last) and won’t affect previous backups.

Due to COVID-19, people are sharing more photos and videos,” a Google rep said in the Photos Help Community. “To save internet resources, backup and sync has been turned off for device folders created by messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messages, and Kik.”

Although the company stopped short of revealing the full list of apps affected by this change, Android Police notes the following apps are included:

  • Facebook
  • Helo
  • Instagram
  • LINE
  • Messages
  • Messenger
  • Snapchat
  • Twitter
  • Viber
  • WhatsApp

If you’re in the habit of hoarding images and videos, you can still opt to enable backups for those folders from Settings. Google has explained how you can do that here — it’s pretty simple.

As someone who disables backup and sync for images and videos, though, this is a welcome change to Photos. In fact, I’ll go as far as recommending you stop messaging apps from saving useless pics and clips by default — just like my colleague Ivan Mehta did with WhatsApp.

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