WhatsApp has begun rolling out two features that were long in the works, both are privacy-focused being: Disappearing Messages and Multiple Durations. The platform says that users can choose disappearing messages as default.
“WhatsApp users will now have the option to turn on disappearing messages by default for all new chats. When enabled, all new one-on-one chats you or another person start will be set to disappear at your chosen duration, and we’ve added a new option when creating a group chat that lets you turn it on for groups you create. This new feature is optional and does not change or delete any of your existing chats.”
WhatsApp mentions that durations for messages can be either between 24 hours and 90 days, as well as the existing option of 7 days.
Users who turn on Disappearing Messages by default will see a message on top of their chats saying that this is the default they’ve chosen.
WhatsApp explains how the Disappearing Messages feature works here:
- If a user doesn’t open WhatsApp in the 24-hour, seven-day, or 90-day period, the message will disappear from the chat. However, the preview of the message might still be displayed in notifications until WhatsApp is opened.
- When you reply to a message, the initial message is quoted. If you reply to a disappearing message, the quoted text might remain in the chat after the duration you select.
- If a disappearing message is forwarded to a chat with disappearing messages off, the message won’t disappear in the forwarded chat.
- If a user creates a backup before a message disappears, the disappearing message will be included in the backup. Disappearing messages will be deleted when a user restores from a backup.
“We’re rolling out a new disappearing messages option on WhatsApp today so you’ll be able to make all new chats disappear by default after 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days. Not all messages need to stick around forever.”