WhatsApp Introduce Disappearing Messages Feature
Facebook’s WhatsApp has added a much-needed privacy feature: disappearing messages. But it seems that the company has a slightly odd idea of what this feature is for.
In a blog post Thursday, WhatsApp introduced the new feature, saying the company’s goal is to “make conversations on WhatsApp feel as close to in-person as possible, which means they shouldn’t have to stick around forever.”
Now, users can turn the feature on for one-to-one chats, and new messages sent to a chat will disappear after seven days. In groups, only admins will be able to set the feature to on or off.
Typically, such a feature has more granular options. For example, in chat app Signal, you can set messages to disappear after five, 10, or 30 seconds, one, five, or 30 minutes, and so forth — all the way up to one week. That way, if you really need privacy, you can have your messages disappear very fast. A seven-day period for disappearing messages is better than nothing, but wouldn’t exactly give me peace of mind that my conversations are truly private.
WhatsApp has offered some explanation as to why it designed the feature the way it did. “We’re starting with seven days because we think it offers peace of mind that conversations aren’t permanent, while remaining practical so you don’t forget what you were chatting about,” the blog post said. This is fine, but still doesn’t exactly explain why more options aren’t available.
The feature will be rolling out globally “this month.”
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