WhatsApp is rolling out a major update for its app on iOS. Starting today, users can use message disappearing as the default and opt for multiple message durations for each chat.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, announced today:

Today we’re introducing a new option to disappear messages on WhatsApp so that you can have all new chats disappear after 24 hours, 7 days or 90 days by default. Not all messages have to last forever.

after a blog entry, WhatsApp users now have the option to tune in Messages disappear by default for all new chats. When this option is enabled, any new one-on-one chats that you or someone else start will be set to disappear for the duration you choose, and we’ve added a new option when creating a group chat that lets you save them for from Activate groups you have created.

The app tells people that this new feature is optional and won’t change or delete any of your existing chats.

In addition to the existing seven-day message disappearing option, users can now delete a chat after 24 hours or 90 days.

For people who choose to turn on disappearing messages by default, we’ll display a message in your chats letting people know that this is the default you’ve chosen. This makes it clear that it isn’t anything personal – it’s a decision you have made about how you would like to communicate with everyone on WhatsApp in the future. However, if you want a particular conversation to persist, it’s of course easy to switch back to a chat.

WhatsApp explains how the message disappearing feature functions:

  • If a user does not open WhatsApp within 24 hours, seven days or 90 days, the message disappears from the chat. However, the preview of the message may still show up in notifications until WhatsApp opens.
  • When you reply to a message, the original message is quoted. If you reply to a message that has disappeared, the quoted text may remain in the chat for the length of time you choose.
  • If a disappearing message is forwarded to a chat that has message disappearing disabled, the message will not disappear in the forwarded chat.
  • If a user backs up before a message disappears, the disappearing message is included in the backup. Disappeared messages are deleted when a user restores from a backup.

The company says users should use disappearing messages with people they trust because someone can:

  • Forward a disappearing message or take a screenshot and save it before it disappears.
  • Copy and save the contents of the disappearing message before it disappears.
  • Snap a picture of a disappearing message with a camera or other device before it disappears.

What do you think of this change? Are you going to use disappearing messages by default in your WhatsApp messages? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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