WhatsApp's disappearing messages got an upgrade: you can now set chats to automatically be deleted after a set period of time.
The disappearing messages feature was first introduced to the app in November 2020 but it only automatically wiped messages after seven days. It also had to be enabled per contact or group chat.
Now, the Meta-owned messaging service is giving you more options for how long before you want a message deleted. You have the option to wipe chats after just 24 hours, seven days, or 90 days.
To turn the feature on, go to the Settings tab > Account > Privacy > then select Default Message Timer.
Should you choose to turn on disappearing messages by default for all your new chats, WhatsApp said it won't affect your existing conversations. And when you start a new one-on-one chat, you and your chatmate will get a notice saying you have the disappearing feature turned on.
This also makes it clear to your chatmates the deleted messages are nothing personal—that's just how you want to communicate on the app.
If you want to keep a conversation permanent, you have the option to disable the feature for select chats.
Disappearing messages are ideal for people who send personal information or conversations that they want to keep private. It's not always foolproof though, as someone can still screenshots of your chats before they're automatically deleted.
As of writing, the feature isn't available yet on iOS or Android in the Philippines but we can expect it to come soon since WhatsApp says it's rolling out the new function across all platforms.