WhatsApp Rolling Out Disappearing Messages Feature

Facebook is now rolling out a new disappearing messages feature to all WhatsApp users on iOS and Android, allowing messages, photos, and videos to be marked to disappear after seven days (via TechCrunch).

Disappearing messages

Users can use the feature for direct messages, and it can be enabled in groups by members with administrator privileges. The seven-day limit exists regardless of whether the recipient reads the message or not, with the timer starting from when the message is sent.

Facebook also hinted at potentially offering a wider range of time limits in the future:

"We will keep an eye on feedback about how people are using it and liking it and see if it needs adjusting in the future," a spokesperson for Facebook said. "For now we are starting with seven days, because it feels like a nice balance between the utility you need for global text based conversations and the feeling of things not sticking around forever."

The implementation of the feature was reportedly delayed by the need for end-to-end encryption:

"[End-to-end encryption] was partly why it took us so long to implement this feature, because we wanted to retain the e2e capabilities that WhatsApp users expect and love," the spokesperson remarked.

There are also indications that Facebook may be looking to carry over the feature to its Messenger app, where it would sit in addition to the pre-existing "secret" messaging feature which allows the sender to control how long a message remains in a separate feed. This seems increasingly likely given Facebook's long-term plan to merge Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp chat platforms.

Earlier this week, WhatsApp began rolling out a new and improved way to manage storage in the app, helping users identify, select, and bulk delete GIFs, photos, and videos that may be filling up their device.

As with the recent storage changes, the new disappearing messages feature will not be enabled by default. It will instead need to be actively turned on in settings.

Top Rated Comments

incoherent_1 Avatar
14 months ago

And yet still no multi-device support.
Telegram is better than whatsapp in almost every way.
Yes, and most importantly Telegram isn’t owned by Facebook. I really hope some regions start moving away from WhatsApp as the de facto messaging platform... I’m looking at you, Southeast Asia.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
miq Avatar
14 months ago
And yet still no multi-device support.
Telegram is better than whatsapp in almost every way.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Oz. Avatar
14 months ago
I will stick with iMessage and Signal.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JosephAW Avatar
14 months ago
Still have my first iMessage from my iPhone 4 now on my iPhone 11 Pro Max. Digital pack rat! :p
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Drogba11 Avatar
14 months ago
I don’t know why iMessage doesn’t allow you to delete messages for everyone. Too many times I’ve commented accidentally in a group chat.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ryanwarsaw Avatar
14 months ago

I don’t know why iMessage doesn’t allow you to delete messages for everyone. Too many times I’ve commented accidentally in a group chat.
Yeah I often get drunk and make threats i shouldn’t. This would be helpful. No need to catch court cases for one foolish, impassioned, drunken, indiscretion.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

facebook instargram updated att prompt 1

Facebook and Instagram Ask Users to Enable App Tracking in Order to Keep Services 'Free of Charge'

Sunday May 2, 2021 1:22 pm PDT by
As a way to convince users to enable tracking across other apps and websites, Facebook is deploying the tactic of telling users that they must enable tracking as part of the App Tracking Transparency framework in iOS 14.5 if they want to help keep Facebook and Instagram "free of charge." App Tracking Transparency or ATT is the newest privacy feature to come to iPhone and iPad devices as part ...
Whatsapp Feature

WhatsApp Still Working on Password-Protected Encrypted iCloud Backups

Monday March 8, 2021 3:27 am PST by
WhatsApp is working on a way to secure users' chat backups in iCloud using password-protected encryption, according to a new report from forthcoming-feature specialist WABetaInfo. The Facebook-owned chat platform began early work on the security feature back in March 2020. Currently, WhatsApp on iPhone lets users back up their chat history to iCloud, but messages and media that users back up ...
Telegram app

Telegram Gains New Auto-Delete Options, Expiring Invite Links, and More

Friday February 26, 2021 1:34 am PST by
Telegram Messenger is bringing new feature additions to its chat app, including new options for auto-delete messages, expiring invite links, and unlimited group numbers. Like WhatsApp and Signal, auto-delete messages have been a staple Telegram feature for some time, but with the latest update, uses can enable an auto-delete timer that applies to all Telegram chats, so that messages are...
whatsapp status updates privacy e1612180151751

WhatsApp Uses Status Updates to Remind Users About Its Privacy Commitments

Monday February 1, 2021 3:58 am PST by
WhatsApp has started using Status messages to remind its users of the messaging service's "commitment to your privacy," following the recent confusion regarding changes to its privacy policy last month. "WhatsApp is now on Status," the message begins. "We'll let you know about new features and updates here. One thing that isn't new is our commitment to your privacy. WhatsApp can't read or...
Telegram app

Telegram Working on Tool That Lets You Import WhatsApp Chats

Thursday January 28, 2021 4:35 am PST by
Telegram is working on a way to let users import their chat history from WhatsApp so they won't lose old conversations if they switch messaging platforms. An update to the app briefly appeared in the App Store on Wednesday detailing the new import tool, but another update was swiftly issued that removed all mention of the tool, suggesting Telegram is still developing it. WABetaInfo was...
Apple vs Facebook feature

Facebook Says Impact of iOS 14.5's App Tracking Transparency Will Be 'Manageable'

Wednesday April 28, 2021 4:40 pm PDT by
Facebook today announced its earnings for the first calendar quarter of 2021, and during the call discussing the results, Facebook executives confirmed that Apple's App Tracking Transparency will have a "manageable" impact on Facebook's business starting in the second quarter. As highlighted by ZDNet, Facebook CFO Dave Wehner said that Facebook is expecting "increased ad targeting headwinds...
Whatsapp Feature

WhatsApp Ends Support for iOS 9, Now Requires iPhone 5 or Later to Work

Thursday March 18, 2021 2:55 am PDT by
As indicated in a newly published support document, WhatsApp has ended support for iOS 9 and earlier versions of Apple's mobile operating system, requiring all users to be running at least iOS 10, released in 2016. Up until now, iOS 9 users – who will have been mainly iPhone 4s owners – were able to use the encrypted chat service. Going forward, however, iOS 10 is required, meaning users ...
whatsapp privacy banner

WhatsApp Reveals What Happens to Users Who Don't Agree to Upcoming Privacy Policy Changes

Sunday February 21, 2021 1:11 am PST by
WhatsApp has revealed how it will gradually limit the features available to accounts held by users who do not accept the platform's impending privacy policy changes, due to come into effect on May 15. WhatsApp's new banner explaining the privacy policy changes According to an email seen by TechCrunch to one of its merchant partners, WhatsApp said it will "slowly ask" users who have not yet...

Popular Stories

airtag in hand

Apple AirTag Linked to Increasing Number of Car Thefts, Canadian Police Report

Friday December 3, 2021 7:10 am PST by
Apple's AirTags are being used in an increasing number of targeted car thefts in Canada, according to local police. Outlined in a news release from York Regional Police, investigators have identified a new method being used by thieves to track down and steal high-end vehicles that takes advantage of the AirTag's location tracking capabilities. While the method of stealing the cars is largely ...
macbook pro 13 inch banner

Apple Planning Five New Macs for 2022, Including Entry-Level MacBook Pro Refresh

Sunday December 5, 2021 7:55 am PST by
Apple is working on five new Macs for launch in 2022, including a new version of the entry-level MacBook Pro, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said that he expects Apple to launch five new Macs in 2022, including: A high-end iMac with Apple silicon to sit above the 24-inch iMac in the lineup A significant MacBook Air...
MBA Mock White Front Blue

2022 MacBook Air Getting Major Display Upgrade With One Drawback

Friday December 3, 2021 3:01 am PST by
Apple's next-generation MacBook Air is reportedly set to bring over many of the new MacBook Pro's features, with one noticeable omission, according to recent reports. The latest MacBook Pro models feature a mini-LED "Liquid Retina XDR" display with deep blacks and support for up to 1,600 nits peak brightness. The display also features Apple's "ProMotion" technology, which is capable of...
m3 feature black

Macs With 'M3' Chips Expected to Use TSMC's 3nm Chip Technology With Test Production Reportedly Underway

Thursday December 2, 2021 7:36 am PST by
Apple's chipmaking partner TSMC has kicked off pilot production of chips built on its 3nm process, known as N3, according to Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report, citing unnamed industry sources, claims that TSMC will move the process to volume production by the fourth quarter of 2022 and start shipping 3nm chips to customers like Apple and Intel in the first quarter of...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors

2022 Apple Watch Lineup Rumored to Include New Apple Watch SE and 'Rugged' Model for Sports

Sunday December 5, 2021 8:22 am PST by
Apple is planning an entire revamp of its Apple Watch lineup for 2022, including an update to the Apple Watch SE and a new Apple Watch with a rugged design aimed at sports athletes, according to respected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. Writing in the latest installment of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said that for 2022, alongside the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple is planning an update to ...