WhatsApp is presenting a brand-new function that will make messages vanish after seven days.
The feature – which is currently available on encrypted messaging app Signal – is being introduced internationally throughout November.
When the feature is turned on, new messages sent out within a chat will automatically delete after seven days – “helping the conversation feel lighter and more personal”.
The function can be switched on by either individual in a one-to-one chat – and in groups, admins will have control over whether the feature is on or off.
WhatsApp discussed that it was beginning with 7 days “due to the fact that we think it offers comfort that discussions aren’t permanent, while remaining practical so you do not forget what you were talking about”.
Unlike in Signal, which starts the timer once the message has been read, WhatsApp’s messages will disappear within 7 days if users do not open the app.
It will still be possible to preview the message within an alert up until WhatsApp is opened. The message may also stay with a priced quote chat, and will not vanish if the message is forwarded.
WhatsApp alerts users only to utilize disappearing messages “with trusted individuals” and says it will be possible for users to forward or take screenshots prior to messages vanish.
By default, any pictures or video files sent out through WhatsApp are automatically downloaded to the receivers’ phone – even if vanishing messages are switched on, the saved image will remain on the phone.