NEW DELHI: WhatsApp has introduced a new feature called “disappearing messages”, which would allow users to ensure that their messages are not saved on the instant messaging platform forever. The ‘self-destruct” automated feature will roll out for users through this month.
“When “disappearing message” is turned on, new messages sent to a chat will disappear after 7 days, helping the conversation feel lighter and more private. In a one-to-one chat, either person can turn disappearing messages on or off. In groups, admins will have the control,” WhatsApp announced in a press release.
According to the Facebook-owned company, the new feature will allow people to speak more “freely” and also strengthen privacy. Users will still be able to take screenshots of the messages or preserve it in other ways, even after they have opted for the “disappearing messages” feature. The feature has to be enabled separately for each individual chat window or group chats.
Responding to a TOI query about what would happen if a sender has switched on the feature, but the receiver hasn’t, WhatsApp said each message sent by the user will disappear (on the receiver’s phone).
“Either party in a 1:1 chat can enable it or disable it at any time. If you turn it on for a given chat, each message sent in that chat while the setting is enabled will disappear after 7 days. If a disappearing message is forwarded to a chat with disappearing messages off, the message won’t disappear in the forwarded chat,” WhatsApp said.
WhatsApp said they started with a shelf life of seven days because it “offers peace of mind that conversations aren’t permanent, while remaining practical so you don’t forget what you were chatting about”.