WhatsApp is testing a new option for its Message Disappearance feature that allows users to automatically delete messages in a specific chat after 90 days. There could be an option to automatically disappear messages after 24 hours, which is also currently in the testing phase. WhatsApp originally introduced the message disappearing feature back in November last year, but so far it has allowed users to only make new messages disappear after seven days.
According to a report by WhatsApp features tracker WABetaInfo, the beta version of WhatsApp for Android 184.108.40.206 includes hints of the option to disappear messages after 90 days. A screenshot was also shared by WABetaInfo, suggesting that the 90-day option comes alongside the existing option to automatically delete messages after seven days.
WhatsApp also appears to have kept the 24-hour option it has reportedly been testing for Android, iOS, and web users over the past few months.
The new option for disappearing messages is expected to be currently under development and is not yet available even to beta testers. However, it is likely that it will be part of a future public release.
It’s important to note that while the Message Disappearance feature is designed to automatically delete the contents of messages after a period of time, recipients can still keep the message by forwarding it to a chat.
Messages set to disappear can also be copied before they disappear. Similarly, a user can take a screenshot of the disappearing message to save its contents before it disappears. WhatsApp also says it designed the feature specifically for users communicating with “trusted people”.
At the time of the “Disappearing Messages” feature announced last year, WhatsApp hinted at an expansion of the standard seven-day timeframe. “We start with 7 days because we think it’s comforting that conversations aren’t permanent but remain practical so you don’t forget what you were talking about,” the company said.
Earlier this month, WhatsApp introduced a one-time viewing feature that makes photos and videos disappear as soon as they are viewed by recipients. Facebook’s instant messaging app also recently announced the expected ability to transfer chat history between iOS and Android devices. However, it is currently limited to users switching between iPhone and Samsung devices.