Just ahead of rolling out Disappearing Messages on the platform, WhatsApp has released a FAQ on its website explaining how the feature will work and how it will help users. WhatsApp is working on a Disappearing Messages feature that will allow users to send messages that will disappear after seven days.
According to the FAQ posted on the website, WhatsApp says “you can send messages that disappear on WhatsApp by enabling Disappearing Messages. Once enabled, new messages sent in the individual or group chat will disappear after seven days. The most recent selection controls all messages in the chat. This setting won’t affect messages you previously sent or received in the chat.”
While Disappearing Messages on an individual chat can be activated by either parties, in a group chat, only the admin can enable Disappearing Messages or turn it off. With the feature turned on, all messages sent to a chat will disappear after seven days. This will happen even if the user does not open WhatsApp for a week. However, users can still see the preview of the message in the notifications bar, even after seven days.
Furthermore, Disappearing Messages that are forwarded to a chat where the feature is turned off, the messages won’t vanish. Disappearing messages will also be included in chat backups made before the seven-day expiry date is hit, but they will be deleted once the backup is restored.
It’s important to keep in mind that even though the messages will disappear after seven days, users can still forward, screenshot or save the message before it disappears. Disappearing Messages are not just for texts, but also works for photos, videos and other files shared. Files shared with the feature turned on will also vanish after seven days, and they too are subject to the same methods of circumventing the expiry. Additional, with auto-download turned on, the media file may disappear from the chat, but will exist in the device storage.