WhatsApp has officially confirmed the development of disappearing messages feature for its messaging platform. According to the WhatsApp support page, once the feature is enabled, new messages sent in an individual or a group chat will disappear after seven days. The Facebook-owned messaging company has further highlighted that the setting would not affect previously sent or received messages in a chat. The disappearing message feature will rollout on WhatsApp for web, Android, iOS, and KaiOS; however, its exact date of availability remains unclear.
WhatsApp explains that the disappearing message feature not only works with text messages but can also be used while sharing multi-media files such as photos and videos. However, if the disappearing message is forwarded to a chat, the forwarded disappearing message will not disappear, the company cautioned. Similarly, if a user creates a backup before a message disappears, the disappearing message will be included in the backup. WhatsApp also states that if a photo or video is sent with the same setting, but in case the auto-download is switched on, the file will save in the gallery and disappear from the particular chat. “When you reply to a message, the initial message is quoted. If you reply to a disappearing message, the quoted text might remain in the chat after seven days,” it added.
The Facebook-owned messaging company also highlights that the disappearing messages should be sent to a “trusted” WhatsApp user as one can always take a screenshot. However, in an individual chat, either user can turn disappearing messages on or off. Whereas, in a group chat, only group admins can turn disappearing messages on or off. WhatsApp further says that if a user doesn’t open the platform within seven days, the message will disappear, though its preview might still be visible in the notification bar.
As mentioned, the feature’s availability details currently remain unclear. However, with the disappearing messages support page going live, its rollout appears to be sooner. The latest development comes a year after the feature was first spotted on the platform’s beta version for Android. As noted by WABetaInfo, disappearing messages appeared on WhatsApp beta version 2.19.275 for Android last year.