WhatsApp is found to be testing a new option for its Disappearing Messages feature under which it would allow users to make messages in a particular chat auto-delete after 90 days. It could come alongside an option to automatically disappear messages after 24 hours that is also reportedly in the testing phase at this moment. WhatsApp originally introduced the Disappearing Messages feature in November last year, but it has so far allowed users to make new messages vanish only after seven days.
As per a report by WhatsApp features tracker WABetaInfo, WhatsApp for Android beta version 18.104.22.168 has carried references for the option to disappear messages after 90 days. A screenshot has also been shared by WABetaInfo that suggests the 90 days option will come alongside the existing option to auto-delete messages after seven days.
The new disappearing messages option is expected to be currently under development and is not yet available even to the beta testers. However, it is likely to be a part of a future public release.
It is important to note that while the Disappearing Messages feature is meant to automatically delete the content of messages after a certain span of time, the recipients can still keep the message by forwarding it to a chat.
The messages set for disappearance can also be copied before they disappear. Similarly, a user can take a screenshot of the disappearing message to save its content before it vanishes. WhatsApp also says that it has made the feature specifically for users communicating with “trusted individuals.”
At the time of announcing the Disappearing Messages feature last year, WhatsApp hinted at its expansion from the default seven-day time frame. “We’re starting with 7 days because we think it offers peace of mind that conversations aren’t permanent while remaining practical so you don’t forget what you were chatting about,” the company had said.
Earlier this month, WhatsApp brought a View Once feature to disappear photos and videos once they are viewed by recipients. The Facebook-owned instant messaging app also recently announced the anticipated ability to transfer chat history between iOS and Android devices. It is, however, currently limited to users moving between iPhone and Samsung devices.