In a press statement, WhatsApp’s roll out of the disappearing messages feature was revealed. Facebook recently declared that WhatsApp surpassed the whopping milestone of 100 billion messages sent everyday, but not many of us want those chats to linger on forever. So Facebook, on its widely popular messaging app WhatsApp, with 2 billion users, added a feature to give people some control on the duration of their words and pictures that remain within the app. Messages, photos and videos; all can now be marked to disappear after seven days.
Disappearing messages have been introduced globally across Android and iOS, as stated by WhatsApp. While kicking off with a seven-day duration, WhatsApp is already looking at the prospect of playing around with the time span. “We will keep an eye on feedback and see if it needs adjusting in the future,” a representative mentioned. It started with seven days because it is like a nice balance between the utility one needs for global text-based conversations and the feeling of things not staying around forever.
Further, the seven-day limit exists regardless of the message being read or not. (The clock starts counting as soon as the message is sent, just like on other apps like Telegram.) Users can turn on the feature for different conversations ( for direct messages ). However, in groups only the admin can enable disappearing messages for it to work.
In 2017, the company first came up with the idea with the launch of Status for all of their contacts to see for a set period of 24 hours, which exist in another tab separate from your chats. WhatsApp said that it took its developers so long to bring this to access because of the encrypted aspect of the app. The retention of the end to end encryption feature that WhatsApp users expect and love makes the new feature more worthy.
Ephemerality is one of the most radical features in messaging. It has been there for quite some time, be it Snapchat, Signal, and Telegram- focusing on the first and foremost objective, privacy. However, with WhatsApp, the reach goes to a wider consumer base. The new disappearing feature is not switched on by default, it has to be proactively changed in the settings.