WhatsApp Makes Disappearing Messages a Default Option With Multiple Durations

WhatsApp says it is rolling out a new option that makes disappearing messages the default behavior for all new chats on the end-to-end encrypted messaging platform.

whatsapp disappearing messages default
It's been over a year since WhatsApp launched its disappearing messages feature, which allows messages, photos, and videos to be marked to disappear after seven days. The feature can be enabled for direct messages and in groups by members with administrator privileges.

The latest development of the feature lets users set all new messages to disappear by default, giving them the choice to move away from the accustomed world in which there's a permanent digital record of everything that's said. From the company's blog post:

Today we are excited to provide our users with more options to control their messages and how long they stick around, with default disappearing messages and multiple durations.

WhatsApp users will now have the option to turn on disappearing messages by default for all new chats. When enabled, all new one-on-one chats you or another person start will be set to disappear at your chosen duration, and we've added a new option when creating a group chat that lets you turn it on for groups you create. This new feature is optional and does not change or delete any of your existing chats.

In addition to the default option, WhatsApp is also adding two new durations for disappearing messages: 24 hours and 90 days, as well as the existing option of 7 days.

To turn on disappearing messages by default for all new individual chats, go to WhatsApp Settings -> Account -> Privacy -> Default message timer, and then select a duration.

When someone chooses to switch to default disappearing messages, WhatsApp will display a message in their chats that tells people this is the default they've chosen, to make it clear that it's nothing personal.

Top Rated Comments

Bandaman Avatar
8 months ago
I still don't understand why anyone uses this Facebook garbage.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kstotlani Avatar
8 months ago

Yes... "encrypted" ... from Facebook. I'm sure we can trust them on that. Telegram is a much better alternative and a lot of people are flocking to it.
Telegram isn’t encrypted by default. You have to do that with each chat and is quite painful.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
imdropbear Avatar
8 months ago

I still don't understand why anyone uses this Facebook garbage.
It's actually very easy to understand. They simply were the first big messaging app that worked on iOS, Android and Windows Phone (he, that was a thing). Especially over in Europe, where the portion of Android phones was historically much larger, people couldn't use iMessages.

Nowadays there are plenty, better alternatives but due to the nature of a messaging app (you want to use one app to reach everyone) it's hard to get people to switch. Nobody wants to switch because nobody uses other messaging apps because nobody is switching because ... you see where this is going?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
szw-mapple fan Avatar
8 months ago
As long as this doesn't get turned on automatically in a buggy update. As the de facto family tech support, I don't want family members asking me about where their WhatsApp messages disappeared to.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dvanwinkle Avatar
8 months ago

Yes... "encrypted" ... from Facebook. I'm sure we can trust them on that. Telegram is a much better alternative and a lot of people are flocking to it.
I was right there with your line of thinking. Then I joined Facebook, and in particular WhatsApp. I know that you have no reason to trust me, but it’s really encrypted, and our servers collect the minimal amount of information to make the service work. We keep nothing else.

To take it a step further, every major change goes through a privacy review to ensue that we’re not storing any data that isn’t absolutely required.

So, why trust WhatsApp even though it’s from Meta over Telegram? We have dedicated employees to ensure that your data is safe. Do you think that there is a possible way that we can have the number of employees that we have and somehow not have it leaked that we’re actually doing evil things with your WhatsApp data?

Source: I’m a developer at WhatsApp
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MajorFubar Avatar
8 months ago

I still don't understand why anyone uses this Facebook garbage.
Because it's a cross-platform encrypted messaging service that works well on PCs, Macs, Android and iOS. Since Covid it's been the mainstay of many a businesses communications network for staff who suddenly found themselves WFH or furloughed without access to their usual office/business internal comms network. Two years ago I hadn't even heard of it.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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