There are times when the messages that you send to friends and acquaintances on messaging apps are not meant to be stored or last forever and need to be automatically deleted after a certain period of time. That’s why it was pretty significant when WhatsApp introduced the disappearing messages feature last year, although it was limited to automatically be deleted after seven days. Now the latest update to Meta’s messaging app adds more options for auto-deletion and also lets you turn it on by default for new individual chats.
WhatsApp users can now decide to turn on the disappearing messages feature for all the new individual chats that they start. Once you do, this means that all new chats that you start between you and another person will automatically disappear, depending on your chosen duration. There’s also an option that will let you turn on the feature when creating a new group chat but you will have to do it for every group chat that you create.
You also now have more options for the duration of when the messages will automatically disappear. Previously, the only option was seven days but now you can choose from two other options: 24 hours and 90 days. To set it up, go to your Settings, tap on Account, and choose your Privacy settings. You will see the Default message timer there and then choose from among the four options, which also includes turning it off if you change your mind.
If you choose to turn on the default disappearing messages for new chats, a message will be displayed whenever you start a new chat. It says that you’re using a default timer for disappearing messages in new chats and then states the duration of the messages before they completely disappear. This way it’s clear that it’s “nothing personal” and that you just chose to make this the default setting for all your new individual chats.
These new options have been rolled out to WhatsApp users already. We don’t know if there will be more default message timer options in the future but having one that is more than 24 hours and less than 7 days would also be good.