WhatsApp for iOS Adds Default Disappearing and Multiple Duration Features


WhatsApp is rolling out a big update for its app on iOS. Starting today, users can choose to use the messages that disappear by default, as well as opt for multiple message durations for each chat.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today:

Today we are rolling out a new option to disappear messages on WhatsApp so that you can make all new chats disappear by default after 24 hours, 7 days or 90 days. Not all messages need to hang around indefinitely.

According to a blog post, WhatsApp users will now have the option to enable disappearance of messages by default for all new chats. When enabled, any new one-on-one chats that you or someone else start will be set to disappear at the length of time you choose, and we’ve added a new option when creating a group chat that allows you to activate it for groups you create.

The app lets people know that this new feature is optional and doesn’t change or delete any of your existing chats.

Along with the existing option of seven days for messages to disappear, users can now choose to delete a chat after 24 hours or 90 days.

For people who choose to enable messages that disappear by default, we will display a message in your chats that will tell them that this is the default that you have chosen. This clearly shows that there is nothing personal – it’s a choice you made about how you want to communicate with everyone on WhatsApp going forward. Although, of course, if you need a particular conversation to stay ongoing, it’s easy to go back.

WhatsApp explains how the Missing Messages feature works:

  • If a user does not open WhatsApp within 24 hours, seven days, or 90 days, the message will disappear from the chat. However, the message preview can still be shown in notifications until WhatsApp is opened.
  • When you reply to a message, the original message is quoted. If you reply to a message that disappears, the quoted text may remain in the chat after the length of time you select.
  • If an endangered message is forwarded to a thread with the endangered messages disabled, the message will not disappear in the forwarded thread.
  • If a user creates a backup before a message disappears, the message that disappears will be included in the backup. Messages that disappear will be deleted when a user restores from a backup.

The company says people should use disappearing messages with people they trust because it’s possible for someone to:

  • Upload or take a screenshot of a disappearing message and save it before it disappears.
  • Copy and save the content of the disappearing message before it disappears.
  • Take a photo of a disappearing message with a camera or other device before it disappears.

What do you think of this change? Will you be using the messages that disappear by default in your WhatsApp messages? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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