Default disappearing messages for new chats in WhatsApp

What’s the new WhatsApp feature?

WhatsApp introduced the disappearing messages feature last year and it will now let users increase the time of disappearing messages up to 90 days. Further, WhatsApp users will now also have the option to turn on disappearing messages by default for all new chats.

When did the service roll out this feature of disappearing messages?

The Facebook-owned service, used by over 2 billion users globally, on Monday rolled out an option that allows users to enable the ephemeral feature by default for all new chats. Prior to Monday’s update, users had to manually enable ephemerality for each new chat with another individual.

What is disappearing messages?

Till now, the disappearing messages feature automatically removed the messages from a chat after seven days.  Disappearing messages when enabled automatically deletes all messages from a chat. The company is adding two new durations for disappearing messages: 24 hours and 90 days, as well as the existing option of seven days.

When enabled by default, all new one-on-one chats (one or another person) starts will be set to disappear at their chosen duration. To get started, one has to go to their Privacy settings and select ‘Default Message Timer.’

What did the company say about it?

Deciding how long a message lasts should be in your hands. We’ve become accustomed to leaving a digital copy of just about everything we type without even thinking about it.

It’s become the equivalent of a note-taker following us around making a permanent record of everything we said. This is why we introduced disappearing messages last year, and more recently for photos and videos to immediately disappear after the recipient viewed them once,” the company said in a press statement.

What did head of consumer product say about it?

Ephemerality gives you the space to have conversations in a more open and honest way,” said Zafir Khan, head of Consumer Product at WhatsApp, in an interview with TechCrunch. Having the option to set ephemerality on all new messages by default should help users avoid awkwardness with their friends, he said. He added that the WhatsApp team heard feedback from users while developing these new options.

Here is how to enable disappearing messages

  • One has to open the WhatsApp chat.
  • Then he or she has to tap the contact’s name.
  • Then he or she has to tap Disappearing messages. If prompted, then they should tap ‘Continue’.
  • After that, they can select 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days.

Here is how to disable disappearing messages

Either user can disable disappearing messages at any time. Once disabled, new messages sent in the chat will no longer disappear.

  • One has to open the WhatsApp chat.
  • Then he or she has to tap the contact’s name.
  • After that, they have to tap Disappearing messages. If prompted, they should tap ‘Continue’.
  • Then they have to select Off.

The company noted that it has added a new option that lets one turn it on for WhatsApp groups as well. This new feature is optional and does not change or delete any of one’s existing chats.

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