When WhatsApp added the feature that allows your messages to disappear automatically last year, it was a gem that everyone wanted but this time around, the company has taken things up a notch.
Contrary to manually enabling messages to auto-disappear after you send them for individual chats, you can now make all messages disappear.
Another major difference between the new feature and the previous update was the disappearing time which was 7 days. The new update now lets you select how soon you’d like – 24 hours or even 90 days.
All these boils down to privacy and for how long people want their messages to be seen by the recipients.
Anyway, long story short here is how to make your WhatsApp messages self-destruct after a given period.
Head over to your WhatsApp mobile application either on your Android or iOS device. For this sample, I’ll be working on my Android phone.
The next thing you want to do is head over to the WhatsApp Settings page and click on Account and then Privacy and then Default message timer.
From here, you can then set up how long you’d like a message to last in new conversations you’ll be having afterward.
One thing I forgot to mention is the fact that this feature only works for one-and-one chats whereas as for group messages, maybe you should think twice before hitting the “Send” button because if the time for you to “Delete for all” passes, it’s at the admin’s discretion to delete the message.
Also, don’t forget that someone might just take a screenshot of the chat as evidence and unless you’re really great at spying, you might never be able to delete the screenshot from their smartphone’s gallery.
Another thing you should remember is that the new feature only applies to messages that you send after applying the new settings. But it’s possible to enable the feature for existing chats – the process is just manual.
Here’s how to go about it…
- Click on a WhatsApp chat that you’d like to turn on disappearing message for
- Then click on the contact’s name at the top
- Next is to click on “Disappearing Messages” and if you get a prompt, click Continue
- Next is to select the duration – 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days.
Even though you want to go sneaky on people with this, WhatsApp will display a message in your chats to let the other party know that you’ve activated disappearing messages.
At least, this will give them the time to screenshot your conversation in case your sneaky little Disappearing Messages get activated.
According to the company “makes clear it’s nothing personal – it’s a choice you’ve made about how you want to communicate with everyone on WhatsApp moving forward.”
At least, that will show you’re not so sneaky after all.
And if you’re done with this and just want things to return back to normal, just follow the steps above to disable the disappearing messages for whatever conversation that’s earned your trust enough that you don’t t future messages to get self-deleted after a period.
The new feature is rolling out to users on iOS and Android starting today.