WhatsApp has announced the introduction of a new ‘disappearing or ephemeral messages’ option this month. This feature would allow users of the app to mark messages, photos, and videos, which would be automatically deleted after 7 days. The company said, “We’re starting with 7 days because we think it offers peace of mind that conversations aren’t permanent while, remaining practical so you don’t forget what you were chatting about.” The 7-day limit exists whether or not the message gets read and it starts the moment the message is sent, users can still copy text or take screenshots of the messages within the 7 day period.
Any user can enable the disappearing messages feature in individual chats while group admins would be able to enable the feature in group chats.
Disappearing messages feature is already popular on social networks like Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, and privacy-focused communication apps like Signal, Telegram, and Wire. Telegram lets users decide on the time frame for messages to be deleted, while Snapchat removes Snaps after they’ve been opened.
The new WhatsApp feature would be available on Android, iOS, and on WhatsApp Web and Desktop platforms by the end of November.