WhatsApp today introduced a new feature that lets users mark messages including photos and videos to disappear after 7 days.
“Our goal is make conversations on WhatsApp feel as close to in-person as possible, which means they shouldn’t have to stick around forever. That’s why we’re excited to introduce the option to use disappearing messages on WhatsApp.”
In a one-to-one chat, either person will have a chance to turn disappearing messages on or off, while, in groups, admins will have the control.
“We’re starting with 7 days because we think it offers peace of mind that conversations aren’t permanent, while remaining practical so you don’t forget what you were chatting about. The shopping list or store address you received a few days ago will be there while you need it, and then disappear after you don’t.”
WhatsApp will be rolling out the disappearing messages feature to its 2 billion users worldwide this month.
A spokesperson said “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. 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.”
WhatsApp says, “by default, media you receive in WhatsApp will be automatically downloaded to your photos. If disappearing messages are turned on, media sent in the chat will disappear, but will be saved on the phone if auto-download is on. “