Since the launch of Snapchat — and its eventual popularity — sending temporary messages has become a common feature on different social networks such as Facebook and Instagram. WhatsApp is now offering a more structured option in this regard, which will have messages with “expiration date” configured for 24 hours and 90 days, completing the seven-day offer that was already made available by the company. In the wake of this process, the messaging platform also offered the function of sharing photos and videos that disappear after being viewed only once.
The decision is centered on providing more privacy options for users, according to a statement sent by the messaging platform on Monday.
“The decision on how long a message should be kept should be yours. We’ve gotten used to leaving a digital copy of pretty much everything we type without even realizing it. Today, we’re pleased to offer even more options to control how long your messages are stored with temporary messages by default,” the company says.
According to the statement, it will be possible to activate temporary messages by default in all new conversations. Thus, all messages in new individual conversations initiated by the user or another person will be set to disappear after the chosen duration. WhatsApp has also added a new option that can be activated when creating group conversations. This new feature is optional and does not change or delete messages from any ongoing conversations.
In addition, the new role was shared by Mark Zuckerberg in a post, in which he also underscores the importance of privacy — the target of recent criticism within the company:
For those who opt for the new temp messaging feature, a message will appear in conversations. informing contacts that this is the default setting the user has chosen. “That way, it’s clear to your contacts that it’s nothing personal, but your choice to communicate more privately on WhatsApp from that moment on. However, if you want messages from a specific conversation to be saved forever, you can exchange conversation setup easily.”, says the company.
To activate this new feature, simply go to privacy settings and select “Default duration”. If you still have questions, you can contact the platform’s Help Center via the website.