WhatsApp to enable messages to disappear for privacy sake and more honest conversations

By Floyd Matlala Time of article published Dec 7, 2021

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WhatsApp has rolled out its new privacy feature which will allow users to choose to have messages disappear for all new chats by default. The newly introduced feature will also give users the option to have their messages disappear after a particular period of time.

Chief executive officer of Meta (formerly known as Facebook) Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post: “We’re rolling out a new disappearing messages option on WhatsApp today so you'll be able to make all new chats disappear by default. Not all messages need to stick around forever.”

“When you enable Disappearing Messages, you can set messages to disappear 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days after the time they are sent. The most recent selection only controls new messages in the chat. This setting won’t affect messages you previously sent or received in the chat. In an individual chat, either user can turn disappearing messages on or off,” the company said in a statement.

In a group chat, any group participants can turn disappearing messages on or off. However, a group admin can change group settings to allow only admins to turn disappearing messages on or off. If a user doesn’t open WhatsApp in the 24 hours, 7 days, or 90-day period, the message will disappear from the chat. However, the preview of the message might still be displayed in notifications until WhatsApp is opened.

Head of Consumer Product at WhatsApp Zafir Khan said “Ephemerality gives you the space to have conversations in a more open and honest way”.

“Privacy has always been core to WhatsApp. We launched the end-to-end encryption and made it default long before it became somewhat of a standard in messaging,” Khan said.

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