Facebook-owned WhatsApp is launching a new disappearing messages feature this month for all users worldwide.
The feature essentially lets users enable a setting that will automatically delete messages after seven days. Anyone can enable the feature in individual chats, and group admins will have the ability to turn on the setting in group chats.
WhatsApp says that it’s starting with seven days because it believes that the time period offers peace of mind that conversations aren’t permanent, while remaining practical so you don’t forget what you were talking about.
The company notes that this setting won’t affect messages you previously sent or received in the chat. If a user doesn’t view the message within the seven day period, the message will disappear. However, the preview of the message might still be displayed in the notifications until WhatsApp is opened.
Further, 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,” WhatsApp notes.
The new feature is starting to roll out to users this month.