WhatsApp introduces 'disappearing messages' that auto-delete after 7 days

WhatsApp's disappearing messages will also wipe out photos and videos after seven days.
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WhatsApp on Thursday said it is introducing 'disappearing messages' feature on its platform that will allow new messages sent to a chat to disappear after seven days.

The feature will be rolled out to all users this month.

The Facebook-owned company said the goal is "to 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. When the 'disappearing messages' feature is turned on, new messages sent to a chat will disappear after seven days, helping the conversation feel lighter and more private," it said in a statement.

Disappearing messages will also wipe out photos and videos after seven days, and while messages will disappear for both parties, it’s still possible to take screenshots or just simply copy messages before they’re automatically deleted.

In a one-to-one chat, either person can turn disappearing messages on or off. In groups, administrators will have the control.

The feature will be rolled out to all users this month

"We're starting with seven 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," it explained.

Earlier this week, WhatsApp had said it has redesigned the storage management tool to make it more useful for people to easily identify, review, and bulk delete content that may be filling their phone.

The new storage management tool is being rolled out to users worldwide this week and is available under the 'Settings' option.

In another development, WhatsApp India Head Abhijit Bose said at TechSparks 2020 that within the next few months, the Facebook-owned messaging service will launch "shopping buttons and business catalogues" for users to discover products, and "buy directly within chat."

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

Edited by Suman Singh