WhatsApp and Google have come to an agreement that as of 12 November, WhatsApp backups will no longer be eating into your Google's cloud storage space. Despite being a Facebook service, all your WhatsApp media, texts, memos and more are automatically backed up over your Google account on Android.
This information was confirmed by XDA-Developers. Users have already started receiving an email confirming the same. The email also adds that data that's over a year old will be automatically deleted from backup, so if you have some untouched WhatsApp backup on your Drive account, do log in once to retain those precious good morning gifs and assorted texts.
Unlike other messaging services, WhatsApp stores all chat and media data inside the phone rather than on dedicated servers. Backing up WhatsApp data is essential since you are quite likely to switch mobile phones, and backing up chats and media on the cloud helps you restore it to a new device. On iPhones, WhatsApp backs up the data on iCloud, which, currently, still counts towards the measly 5 GB data offered for free by Apple.
On a related note, if you are running out of storage space on Google Drive, do consider one of Google's recently announced Google One plans. These start out at a mere Rs 130 a month for 100 GB of storage and go to 3o TB and beyond.