WhatsApp is expanding its disappearing messages feature, which allows users to configure texts in a chat to be automatically wiped after a certain amount of time.
According to WhatsApp, users will now be able to turn on disappearing messages automatically for all new one-on-one chats, ensuring that all future messages are instantly wiped from the service.
The Meta-owned messaging service also claims to be providing users more options for how long a message can be kept before being removed. When the service first debuted in November of last year, users could only choose to have texts deleted after seven days. However, in the future, you will be able to delete them after only 24 hours or 90 days. WABetaInfo previously reported that the new functionality was in the works.
WhatsApp says that enabling vanishing messages by default will have no effect on existing chats. When you start a new one-on-one chat, a notice will appear stating that the disappearing messages function is enabled, along with a statement stating that it is enabled by default (so your contacts don’t believe it’s anything personal). You can also disable the setting for individual chats.
Although the new default setting has no effect on group chats, WhatsApp says it has added a new option to enable the disappearing messages function when creating groups.
According to WhatsApp, the new functionalities are now available on all platforms. The FAQ for WhatsApp contains instructions on how to utilise them3m4.
How to Set WhatsApp Messages to Self-Destruct by Default
WhatsApp just provided the ability to have your messages disappear automatically last year, but the firm has greatly expanded the feature. Rather than requiring you to enable disappearing messages for each individual chat, WhatsApp now allows you to make disappearing messages the default setting for all new one-on-one chats.
These settings are beneficial because everyone has a different sense of how permanent messages should be. For some people, a day is enough, making discussions almost as fleeting as real-time conversation. Others may like to maintain their chat history for a longer period of time so that they can go back and refer to messages as needed.
Regardless of which camp you fall into, enabling the new option by default is a straightforward enough task. On both Android and iOS, go to WhatsApp Settings, hit Account > Privacy > Default message timer, and then choose how long you want messages to last in new conversations.
Keep in mind that this only applies to one-on-one conversations. It is up to the group creator to determine how long group messages last. It’s also possible for someone to screenshot or photograph your messages.
Finally, keep in mind that this only applies to new talks; you’ll need to enable it individually for current chats.
You can do that by:
1. Opening a WhatsApp chat
2. Clicking on the contact’s name
3. Tapping ‘Disappearing messages’ (if prompted, tap Continue)
4. Select 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days.
Whatsapp claims that it will also display a message in your chats informing the other party that you have set the default to disappearing messages. The firm “makes clear it’s nothing personal — it’s a choice you’ve made about how you want to communicate with everyone on WhatsApp moving ahead,” according to the business.