WhatsApp has recently announced that it will introduce a new feature to the app this month. WhatsApp users will be able to set their messages to get automatically deleted after seven days.
“We’re starting with 7 days 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,” says a WhatsApp spokesperson. “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.”
Disappearing messages can be enabled by tapping the chat name at the top of the screen, scrolling down until you see the new option for disappearing messages, and then turning them on. The action does not delete any of the older chat messages, and both members of the chat can turn it off.
Anyone can enable the new option in individual chats, while group admins will be able to do the same in group chats.
The disappearing messages option is not restricted only to text messages, but will also delete photos and videos while still allowing its users to take screenshots, forward or copy certain messages before they’re automatically deleted after 1 week.
The seven-day limit will apply even if the message gets read or not since the countdown begins the moment the message is sent.
However, WhatsApp can still retain a copy of the messages if the user makes a backup before the seven-day limit is up and, media sent through the app will also be saved if the auto-download setting is turned on, on the other person’s device.
The disappearing messages feature will be available by the end of this month on all devices that support WhatsApp. This includes Android, iOS, and Linux-based KaiOS devices, along with the WhatsApp Web and Desktop platforms.