Science & Tech

WhatsApp introduces feature which deletes messages after 7 days

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  • When the feature is turned on, new messages sent within a chat will automatically delete after seven days - "helping the conversation feel lighter and more private".

WhatsApp is introducing a new feature that will make messages disappear after seven days.

The feature – which is already available on encrypted messaging app Signal – is being introduced globally throughout November.

When the feature is turned on, new messages sent within a chat will automatically delete after seven days – “helping the conversation feel lighter and more private”.

The feature can be turned on by either person in a one-to-one chat – and in groups, admins will have control over whether the feature is on or off.

WhatsApp explained that it was starting with seven 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”.

“In an individual chat, either user can turn disappearing messages on or off. In a group chat, only group admins can turn disappearing messages on or off,” WhatsApp said.

There is some other information that WhatsApp has provided on how the disappearing messages will work.

“According to the company, if WhatsApp is not opened by the user in seven days, the message will disappear. But it’s preview may still be visible in the notification till the time the application is opened.

“Furthermore, during replying to a particular message, the initial message is quoted. If a user has replied to a disappearing message, the company said that the quoted text is likely to remain in the chat even after seven days.

In addition to this, if a user has kept the new feature off and the disappearing message is forwarded to another chat will remain there and not be disappeared.

“If a user creates a backup before a message disappears, the disappearing message will be included in the backup,” the company added. These disappearing messages, however, will be removed once backup is restored.

The company has advised to use the feature only with trusted individuals. WhatsApp said that it is possible for someone to forward that message or take a screenshot of it before it disappears. Users can also copy and save content as well prior to the message’s disappearance.

In case of media, WhatsApp said, “If disappearing messages are turned on, media sent in the chat will disappear, but will be saved on the phone if auto-download is on.”

Auto-download can be turned off by going to Settings and then Data and Storage Usage. – Online

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