WhatsApp upgrades its disappearing messages feature

WhatsApp now lets you make your messages disappear for all new chats. It’s a function that means all texts sent within a discussion will be deleted after a certain amount of time, which you may set to a day, a week, or three months.

“As more of our discussions shift from face-to-face to digital, we recognize that there is a certain beauty in simply sitting down with someone in-person, sharing your views in confidence, and knowing you are both connecting in private and in that time.” “The freedom to be honest and vulnerable, knowing that your discussion isn’t being recorded and stored somewhere forever,” remarked the WhatsApp team. The feature is now available on iOS and Android. To enable it, visit the WhatsApp settings and go to Account>Privacy>Default Message Timer.

WhatsApp's new page for managing message visibility durations.

After you enable fading messages for a chat, all messages in that chat are removed when the timer runs out. This will occur even if the message is not opened within the time limit. There are, however, some exceptions. Depending on your operating system, a deleted message will remain visible in the notifications preview if WhatsApp is not accessed. Quoted messages may remain accessible in the quotation, and deleted messages forwarded to another conversation will not be removed.

WhatsApp also warns that erased communications aren’t completely secure and should only be utilized with a trusted partner. As previously said, forwarding a message is a concern, but so is screenshotting, recording the message with the camera of another phone, or just copying and pasting the message into a notes app. It’s a problem in other apps with ephemeral messaging, such as Snapchat, albeit those apps do send screenshot notifications to notify the other party that a screenshot was taken.

Disappearing messages can be set as the default for all new chats or activated manually in existing chats – including individual and group chats. When the feature is enabled, a notification will be sent to all participants.