WhatsApp focuses on privacy in latest update, introduces new Disappearing Messages additions

WhatsApp focuses on privacy in latest update, introduces new Disappearing Messages additions

Instant messaging (IM) services have changed the way we communicate and socialize with people. In real life, people don’t record every word they say to others in a conversation. However, the digital world leaves behind us a trail that is sometimes challenging to clear. When something is posted online, it’ll likely always exist on some server or hard drive somewhere. Even if a user “permanently deletes” it, there’s a high possibility that a private copy of it is still stored — online or offline. To help reduce the digital trace we leave behind, WhatsApp introduced Disappearing Messages and view-once media months ago. The company is now taking it further by adding an option to make messages disappear by default. That’s in addition to new, multiple timer durations for the feature.

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WhatsApp announced in a blog post that it’s bringing new additions to its Disappearing Messages feature. This tool doesn’t stop people from taking screenshots of conversations or storing them elsewhere — outside the app. It only automatically deletes the messages from WhatsApp after a certain period of time. Initially, users could only set the duration to 7 days. The company is now rolling out two new durations to choose from — 24 hours and 90 days.

In addition to the new durations, WhatsApp is also allowing users to enable the feature for all new chats by default, including groups. At first, you could only enable the feature in a chat manually. By toggling default Disappearing Messages, you won’t have to turn the feature on with each of your contacts. Again, this feature doesn’t stop people from keeping records of the chat. It only limits what others can view from your chat history if they gain physical access to your device. The changes are rolling out to iOS and Android users gradually. If you don’t see them yet, make sure your app is up to date, and be patient until they become available to you.

Do you use the Disappearing Messages feature? Let us know in the comments section below.

About author

Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached on Twitter @Mahmoudzitani or via [email protected]

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