WhatsApp announces major improvements to the disappearing messages feature


6, 2021

WhatsApp’s disappearing messages feature currently makes a chat disappear after 7 days, but the feature is set to become more advanced with the Meta-owned company providing the users with more options to control their messages and how long they stick around.

WhatsApp has just announced that users will now have the option to turn on disappearing messages by default for all new chats. By enabling the feature, you’re essentially telling WhatsApp to make your one-on-one chats disappear at your chosen duration, which can be 24 hours and 90 days, as well as the existing option of 7 days.

The company, in a blog post, has also confirmed that WhatsApp will display a message in your chats telling people what you’ve chosen as the default option. However, if you have a change of heart, you can also switch back to make a particular chat remain permanent.

The default disappearing messages and multiple durations are available on both WhatsApp iOS and Android clients. You can go to the WhatsApp Privacy settings and select ‘Default Message Timer’ to set your own duration.

Here’s how this feature will work:

  • 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.

The company recommends that you use disappearing messages with trusted individuals because it’s possible for someone to:

  • Forward or take a screenshot of a disappearing message and save it before it disappears.
  • Copy and save content from the disappearing message before it disappears.
  • Take a photo of a disappearing message with a camera or other device before it disappears.

How many of you’re using the disappearing messages feature? Do you think the latest improvements are enough, or the company needs to do more? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.

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