WhatsApp now lets you set all chats to disappear by default
You can now make almost all your messages disappear after 1, 7, or 90 days
WhatsApp is adding new functionality to its disappearing messages feature, which lets users set messages in a chat to automatically be deleted after a set period of time.
WhatsApp says users will now have the option to turn on disappearing messages automatically for all their new one-on-one chats, so that all future messages will be automatically deleted from the service.
The Meta-owned messaging service also says it’s giving users more options for how long before a message is deleted. When the feature first launched in November last year, users only had the option of having messages disappear after seven days. Going forward, however, there will also be the option of deleting them after just 24 hours or 90 days. The new functionality was previously reported as being in development by WABetaInfo.
WhatsApp notes that turning on disappearing messages by default won’t affect existing chats. When you start a new one-on-one chat, a notice will appear to say that the disappearing messages feature is turned on, alongside a note that says it’s on by default (so your contacts don’t think it’s anything personal). You also have the option of turning the setting off for individual chats.
WhatsApp says the new features are available now across all platforms. Instructions for how to use them3m4 can be found in WhatsApp’s FAQ.
It was just last year that WhatsApp added the option to let your messages disappear automatically, but the company has expanded the feature in a big way. Rather than forcing you to manually enable disappearing messages for each individual chat, WhatsApp now lets you default to disappearing messages for all new one-on-one chats.
These options are welcome, as everyone has a different idea of how permanent messages should be. For some folks, a day is enough, making conversations nearly as ephemeral as real-time conversation. Others might want to keep their conversation history for a while longer, such that they can go back and refer to messages when needed.
Whichever camp you lie in, enabling the new feature by default is simple enough. On both Android and iOS, you can go to WhatsApp Settings, tap on Account > Privacy > Default message timer, and then simply select how long you’d like messages to last in new conversations.
Keep in mind this only affects one-and-one chats. For group messages, it’s up to the group creator to decide how long messages last. It’s also still possible for someone to screenshot or take a photo of your messages.
Lastly, keep in mind this only works for new conversations; you’ll have to enable it individually for your existing chats.
You can do that by:
1. Opening a WhatsApp chat
2. Clicking on the contact’s name
3. Tapping ‘Disappearing messages’ (if prompted, tap Continue)
4. Select 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days.
Whatsapp says it will also display a message in your chats to let the other party know that you’ve defaulted to disappearing messages. According to the company “makes clear it’s nothing personal – it’s a choice you’ve made about how you want to communicate with everyone on WhatsApp moving forward.”
If you’d like to disable disappearing messages for a particular conversation, you can basically follow the same steps as above, except you simply choose ‘Off’ instead of a timer.–theverge.com/thenextweb.com