WhatsApp is giving users more control over their privacy by allowing them to turn on Disappearing Messages by default, making messages delete themselves within a certain period. The global timer was first seen in WhatsApp’s beta in October and is now officially rolling to all users worldwide.
Along with the default setting, WhatsApp is implementing two new duration options — 24 hours and 90 days — alongside the existing seven-day timer. To enable it, go to Settings > Account > Privacy > Default message timer and choose the duration you’d like.
Turning it on will only delete new messages, so messages previously sent with the feature disabled won’t be affected. As with before, Disappearing Messages can also be configured for each individual chat, with both users being able to turn the feature on and off, as well as both users being notified of any changes made. As for groups, admins can choose whether or not to let other participants be able to use the feature.
The platform has certainly improved in terms of privacy, with new features such as View Once offering users the option to avoid cluttering their chats, as well as giving them more control over what they’re comfortable sending to others.
Keep in mind that users could still screenshot the conversation, and that messages set to self-destruct forwarded to chats with Disappearing Messages turned off won’t go away. WhatsApp is also reportedly working on extending the duration even longer than 90 days, though how long exactly remains to be seen.