WhatsApp has long said to be working on a feature called disappearing messages or self-destruct messages. Over the past couple of months, numerous reports have detailed the progress that the company has been making in developing this feature. Now, WhatsApp has shared more details about its upcoming feature.
But before we get into the details, let’s first understand what this feature exactly does. The disappearing messages feature, as the name suggests, are the messages that disappear within a specified period of time. Previous reports have hinted towards the feature offering one hour, one week and one month of time period when a selected message would disappear without a trace.
Now, WhatsApp has shared a support page wherein it has shared details of this feature.
For starters, WhatsApp says that its disappearing messages feature, when released will not only be available in its iOS and Android-based app, but also in its KaiOS-based app, desktop-based app and WhatsApp Web.
WhatsApp also revealed that all the messages sent after enabling this feature will disappear after seven days. This means that users will not get the option to select the time frame after which the messages would disappear. The setting, however, will not affect the messages sent or received prior to enabling this feature.
As far as using this feature is concerned, users can turn this feature on or off in individual chats. However, in case of group chat, only the admins can turn this feature on or off.
Here are some of the key things to note about this feature:
- If a user doesn’t open WhatsApp in seven days, the message will disappear. However, the preview of the message might still be displayed in notifications until WhatsApp is opened.
- When a user replies to a message, the initial message is quoted. If they 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.
- If the disappearing messages feature is turned on, media sent in the chat will disappear, but will be saved on the phone if auto-download is on.