Self-destructing WhatsApp messages are finally arriving on a device near you as the feature is currently rolling out to all users. We wrote about WhatsApp’s disappearing messages a few weeks back when the instant messaging app was still testing it out in beta. WhatsApp has now confirmed that the latest update for the app will include the feature which is great news for anyone who really enjoys destroying their own texts. You weirdo.
If you switch the option on, WhatsApp will automatically delete chats after seven days. This means that you should only really be left with chats of those you interact with frequently, rather than that one person you bought a bike from back in 2018. According to WhatsApp this should, “make conversations on the app feel as close to in-person chats as possible” for anyone making use of the feature.
Which is a bold claim.
Maybe one of the best aspects of disappearing messages is that it works for group chats as well. Users have a way to automatically delete all those pointless WhatsApp groups set up for a friend’s birthday six months ago, or to cut back on the long-winded types in the school groups you can’t just leave. Just that in itself justifies the inclusion of the feature.
WhatsApp doesn’t want you to lose anything though
If you’re concerned about potentially losing something important in a chat that’s been destroyed by the app, you can always back it up. That way when it is deleted you’ll still have a chance to save some data that might be relevant. The feature also doesn’t remove any files saved on your phone that you may have received from the deleted chat.
Really, the feature is less about security and more about convenience. You’re not going to be able to send all kinds of encrypted messages now but at least you won’t need to continually scroll past loads of messages you’ll never refer to again.