New Delhi: Facebook’s messaging service WhatsApp Thursday introduced a ‘disappearing message’ feature that deletes messages after seven days.
To make use of the feature, users have to enable it by tapping on a contact’s name.
“WhatsApp messages often live on our phones forever. While it’s great to hold onto memories from friends and family, most of what we send doesn’t need to be everlasting,” a Facebook blog post read.
WhatsApp indicated the platform might tweak the seven-day limit later.
“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 shopping list or store address you received a few days ago will be there while you need it, and then disappear after you don’t.”
For individual chats, either user can switch on the disappearing messages feature, but in group chats, only the group admin will be able to do so.
Further, the feature will only apply to messages sent or received in a chat after ‘disappearing messages’ is enabled.
Once the feature is enabled, if a user creates a backup of the message before it disappears, then the message is saved in the backup storage. But these messages will be deleted when a user tries to restore them from a backup.
However, disappearing messages don’t entirely prevent a permanent record of messages. As WhatsApp notes, it’s still possible for someone to take a screenshot and save a message before it disappears.