WhatsApp is changing the way it stores data and it could mean old memories are lost forever if users don’t act.
The messages will not be deleted from the app on the user’s handset, just from the Google Drive back up service.
However, users who want to transfer old chats to new devices or lose their smartphone, would also lose their content at this point.
It comes as part of a new update which changes how WhatsApp stores information using the Google Drive online file storage facility.
The new system will go live on November 12 and anything older than a year at that point will be deleted from the Google’s hard drives to free up space.
That means that precious photos, videos and conversations that have taken place on the app will be erased from the cloud.
The messaging platform currently backs up all data from chats to Google Drive, the popular cloud storage system.
The move is designed to dedicate less Google Drive storage space to on old chat messages and other content.
WhatsApp is going to start deleting bits of old content if you haven’t updated your back-up for more than a year.
Pictures, videos, memes, gifs and messages will still be saved as you chat, but going forward will have a 12 month life expectancy.
Google has warned users that those who have not updated WhatsApp in a year come November 12 will have their data removed.
The Facebook-owned firm advises people to manually back up their WhatsApp before this date or risk losing their content.
In an email to customers, a spokesman for Google said: ‘Due to a new agreement between WhatsApp and Google, WhatsApp backups will no longer count against Google Drive storage quota.
‘However, any WhatsApp backups that have not been updated in more than a year will automatically be removed from storage.’
Although WhatsApp users have been notified of the change, it is possible customers will have missed the memo.
It could be a costly miss, as these valuable messages and hidden gems will be wiped from the system permanently.
The removal comes as part of a deal that is being offered as a benefit to users: Google will allow people to back up their chats into its servers for free, meaning that messages will be protected.