After months of testing, Whats-app has today announced that all users can now access its new ‘disappearing messages’ feature, which will see all new messages sent within the designated chat self-erase after 7 days.

How does whats-app Disappearing Messages work?

When disappearing messages is turned on, new messages sent to a chat will disappear after 7 days, helping the conversation feel lighter and more private. In a one-to-one chat, either person can turn disappearing messages on or off. In groups, admins will have the control.

Will the setting impact previously sent messages?

The setting won’t impact previously sent messages in a thread. Whats-app says that this will provide a greater sense of immediacy, while also enabling users to clear out unnecessary reminders without having to manually go back and clean up their exchanges.

What are the key functions of whats-app?

  • If a user doesn’t open Whats-app in the seven day period, the message will disappear. However, the preview of the message might still be displayed in notifications until Whats-app is opened.
  • When you reply to a message, the initial message is quoted. If you reply to a disappearing message, the quoted text might remain in the chat after seven days.
  • If a disappearing message is forwarded to a chat with disappearing messages off, the message won’t disappear in the forwarded chat.
  • If a user creates a backup before a message disappears, the disappearing message will be included in the backup. Disappearing messages will be deleted when a user restores from a backup.

So, they don’t really disappear, at least not entirely. Which seems potentially problematic?