WhatsApp has finally launched the disappearing messages feature, days after confirming its development on the dedicated Support page. The feature is slated to be available starting this month, and users have to manually enable the feature on a per-group or individual chat basis. If the disappearing messages feature on WhatsApp is enabled, messages that include both text and media files, will be automatically deleted after seven days. The company claims that the seven-day period will give users a “peace of mind" that conversations are not permanent.
The disappearing message feature is rolling out on WhatsApp for web, Android, iOS, and KaiOS. The new option is available for both group and individual chats. To enable the feature on WhatsApp for Android and iOS (individual chat), users will need to open WhatsApp chat > Tap the contact’s name > Tap Disappearing messages > if prompted, tap ‘CONTINUE’ > Select On. The Facebook-owned company has stated that the same method can be used for WhatsApp for Desktop, web and KaiOS.
The company also adds that for individual chats, both users can disable the disappearing message feature. To disable the feature across all platforms, users will need to open the WhatsApp chat > Tap the contact’s name > Tap Disappearing messages > if prompted, tap ‘CONTINUE’ > Select Off.
There are also catch with the new disappearing message feature. WhatsApp says that if the disappearing message is forwarded to a chat, the forwarded disappearing message will not get wiped out. Similarly, if a user creates a backup before a message automatically disappears, the file are now permanently saved. The company also highlights the features should be used with “trusted users" as anyone can always take a screenshot. Additionally, if you reply specifically to a disappearing message in a chat, the quoted message text might remain visible even after seven days.
The WhatsApp disappearing messages feature is now rolling out for all users, though you may not get it immediately. Users are advised to update the app from the respective app store.