WhatsApp will start rolling out its highly anticipated Disappearing Messages feature this month. The feature, which has been in development for the last few months, will let users share messages, images, videos, and GIFs on the platform that will automatically disappear after seven days.
In case you missed our previous coverage, WhatsApp has been working on the Disappearing Messages feature since March this year. The feature made its way to the beta channel with WhatsApp 220.127.116.11 beta in July, a couple of months after which it received support for media files. Just a few days ago, WhatsApp shared an FAQ section on its website, revealing additional information about the feature. The company has now officially announced that it will start rolling to all WhatsApp users this month.
In a recent post on Facebook Newsroom, the company wrote: “We’re 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…We hope people enjoy disappearing messages, which will be rolling out to users everywhere this month.”
Once the feature rolls out, WhatsApp users will see a new “Disappearing Messages” setting in the app. When enabled, the feature will allow users to share disappearing messages, images, videos, and GIFs with each other. In individual chats, either user will have the option to turn on disappearing messages. In group chats, however, only the group admin will have the ability to enable/disable the feature.
Sadly, WhatsApp’s disappearing messages feature won’t offer any security measures to deter recipients from saving the content of the disappearing messages or taking a screenshot before they expire. Recipients will also be able to forward disappearing messages, and the sender won’t be alerted of the same. Similarly, media shared using the feature will be automatically saved to the recipient’s device if they have auto-download turned on, and it won’t be removed from their device even when the original message disappears from the chat. The lack of such security measures makes disappearing messages a less than favorable addition.
It’s worth noting that WhatsApp recently added a new storage management tool to the app, which is a far more useful addition than the half-baked disappearing messages feature. You can learn more about it by following this link.