WhatsApp says it is rolling out a new feature that makes disappearing messages the default behavior of all new chats on the end-to-end encrypted messaging platform.
It is over a year ago that WhatsApp launched its feature to disappear messages, which allows messages, photos and videos to be marked to disappear after seven days. The feature can be enabled for instant messaging and in groups of members with administrator privileges.
The latest development of the feature lets users set all new messages to disappear by default, allowing them to move away from the familiar world where there is a permanent digital record of everything that is being said. From the company’s blog post:
Today, we are happy to give our users more options to check their messages and how long they last, with standard messages disappearing and more durations.
WhatsApp users will now have the option to turn on disappearing messages by default for all new chats. Once enabled, all new one-to-one chats that you or another person starts will be set to disappear for your selected duration, and we’ve added a new option when you create a group chat that lets you turn it on for groups you create. This new feature is optional and does not change or delete any of your existing chats.
In addition to the default setting, WhatsApp also adds two new durations for disappearing messages: 24 hours and 90 days, as well as the existing option of 7 days.
To enable disappearing messages by default for all new individual chats, go to WhatsApp Settings -> Account -> Privacy -> Default message hours, and then select a duration.
When someone chooses to switch to default messages that disappear, WhatsApp displays a message in their chats telling people that these are default messages they have chosen to make it clear that it is not personal.
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