Recently, WhatsApp has included Whatsapp disappearing messages feature to its Android, iOS, Web, Desktop, and KaiOS app.

Disappearing messages are not something unheard of. Telegram, Signal, Snapchat, and Wire have had it on their platform even before WhatsApp introduced it on its platform. A user can set a time limit on a particular message after which it will disappear from the chat automatically.

WhatsApp however, is not offering a customizable option to users. Instead, it is setting a limit of seven days after which the messages sent to a chat will disappear.

In a one-to-one chat, either person will have the option of turning the disappearing messages on or off while in groups, admins will exercise this control.

How to enable Whatsapp disappearing message feature?

To enable the feature, follow the steps.

  • Open WhatsApp chat on your Android or iOS
  • Tap on the contact’s name and then click on the disappearing messages setting
  • Once you get a prompt, tap Continue and select ‘ON’

To disable the feature, simply go back to the message setting and select ‘Off’.

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For group chats, admins can follow the same steps to turn on the feature. Also, a group admin can change the group settings to allow only admins to turn the disappearing messages on or off.

A few points to keep in mind about Whatsapp disappearing messages feature are;

· After activating this feature, if you don’t open your WhatsApp for seven days, the messages will disappear. However, according to WhatsApp, the message may be displayed in notifications until you open WhatsApp.

· Typically, when you reply to a message, the initial message is quoted while if you reply to a disappearing message the quoted message may remain in the chat after seven days.

· If you create a backup before the message disappears, it will be included in the backup. It will be deleted when you restore it from a backup.

What about the media in disappearing messages?

By default, WhatsApp saves the media you receive to your photos. If you turn on the disappearing message feature, the media sent in the chat will disappear. However, it will be saved to the phone if the auto-download feature is on.  To turn off the auto-download, go to WhatsApp Settings and then select Storage and Data.

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That said, it is recommended that you use the disappearing messages feature with trusted people. For instance, it is possible for a person to;

  • Take a screenshot of the disappearing message or forward it before it disappears.
  • Copy and save the content of the message before it disappears.
  • Click a photo of the message with a camera or other device before it disappears.

So, now that you know about the Whatsapp disappearing messages feature, go ahead, try it and see if it is worth the hype!