WhatsApp now allows users to send messages in individual or group chats that disappear after a week.
In its FAQ, the messaging service explained that users can toggle the setting within a chat, but only admins are allowed to adjust it in a group chat.
Currently, the deletion period is fixed at seven days and cannot be changed by the user. Also, the feature won’t affect messages sent or received previously.
As the app has an option to auto download media received in chats, media sent in a disappearing message will also be deleted after seven days.
Even if a user doesn’t open the app for seven days, the messages will still disappear, according to WhatsApp.
However, there are several conditions where the message would be seen even after seven days.
For instance, if the app was not accessed for seven days, the notification showing a preview of the message will be visible until the app is launched again.
If a disappearing message is quoted in a reply, the quoted text will be visible as long as the reply is not deleted. The same goes for forwarded messages.
If a user creates a backup of the chat, the disappearing message will be saved. However, if the backup is restored past the seven days, the message will disappear upon restoring the backup.
WhatsApp warns users to only enable this feature with people they trust, as the disappearing messages can be circumvented by taking a screenshot, copying the content or even taking a photo using another device.
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