Technology: Facebook’s WhatsApp Thursday introduced a ‘disappearing message’ feature that deletes new messages sent to chats after seven days.
To make use of the feature, users have to enable it by tapping on a contact’s name. In a one-to-one chat, either person can turn disappearing messages on or off, while in groups, only admins will have full access to control over the feature.
“WhatsApp messages often live on our phones forever. While it’s great to hold onto memories from friends and family, most of what we send doesn’t need to be everlasting,” a Facebook blog post read.
“We are starting with 7 days feature because we think it offers peace of mind that conversations aren’t permanent, while remaining practical so you don’t forget what you were chatting about. The shopping list or store address you received a few days ago will be there while you need it, and then disappear after you don’t, ” WhatsApp said.
‘Disappearing Messages’ has started rolling out from today, and will be available across Android, iOS, and Linux-based KaiOS devices, along with WhatsApp Web and Desktop platforms, by the end of this month.
WhatsApp indicated the platform might tweak the seven-day limit later.
How to Enable disappearing messages
Either user can enable disappearing messages in an individual chat. Once enabled, messages in the chat will disappear after seven days.
- Open the WhatsApp chat.
- Tap the contact’s name.
- Tap Disappearing messages.
- If prompted, tap CONTINUE.
- Select On.
However, disappearing messages don’t entirely prevent a permanent record of messages. As WhatsApp notes, it’s still possible for someone to take a screenshot and save a message before it disappears.