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‘Disappearing Messages’ feature launched by WhatsApp. All you need to know

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WhatsApp, on Thursday, launched a much-required ‘Disappearing Messages’ feature with a time limit of seven days before the message gets automatically deleted.

The feature is available for individual as well as group chats. However, in group chats, the group admins will be able to enable disappearing messages in group chats.

What did the company say?

The Disappearing Messages feature is now official and will be rolled out to its 2-billion plus users during this month. The Facebook-owned company said the goal is “to make conversations on WhatsApp feel as close to in-person as possible, which means they shouldn’t have to stick around forever”.

“That’s why we’re excited to introduce the option to use disappearing messages on WhatsApp. When the ‘disappearing messages’ feature is turned on, new messages sent to a chat will disappear after 7 days, helping the conversation feel lighter and more private,” it said in a statement.

“We’re starting with seven 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. 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,” it explained.

Disappearing messages feature to be available on Android, iOS

The Disappearing Messages feature will be available on all WhatsApp-supported devices including Android, iOS, and Linux-based KaiOS devices, along with WhatsApp Web and Desktop platforms, by the end of this month.

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Earlier, WhatsApp, on its FAQ page, had also a full lowdown on how the ‘Disappearing Messages’ will work once enabled.

Feature explained

As mentioned, once Disappearing Messages feature is enabled, new messages sent in the individual or group chat will disappear after seven days.

Disappearing messages will also wipe out photos and videos after seven days, and while messages will disappear for both parties it’s still possible to take screenshots or just simply copy messages before they are automatically deleted. Or, you can also save the photos or other content with auto-download on. You can turn auto-download off in WhatsApp Settings > Data and Storage Usage.

If a user doesn’t open WhatsApp in the seven day period, the message will disappear. 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 seven days.

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.

Enabling/disabling the feature

For switching on the feature, open the WhatsApp chat. Then, tap the contact’s name. Tap Disappearing messages. If prompted, tap ‘continue’. Select ‘On’.

For switching off the feature, open the WhatsApp chat. Then, tap the contact’s name. Tap Disappearing messages. If prompted, tap ‘continue’. Select ‘Off’.

 

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