WhatsApp update: New chats can now be set to disappear by default, Meta adds more message durations that disappear

Before Facebook became Meta, the social media empire faced many backlashes to policy changes earlier this year, which raised concerns about how it handles user data and how it handles user data. online privacy on WhatsApp. But Meta seems to make up for that by introducing more privacy-focused features in the months since. Now, the company is expanding how the endangered messages work in the messaging app.

The disappearance of messages is one of the most anticipated WhatsApp features that became widely available this year for the app, which has two billion active users worldwide. And Meta just made it even easier to use in an update announced on Monday.

The company confirmed in a blog post that WhatsApp users can now make posts that disappear a default setting for all new incoming threads. Prior to this update, users had to manually enable the feature in every conversation.

In the provided sample Meta images, it looks like the app will get a new “Default message time” menu in the privacy settings where users can agree to “start new chats with disappearing messages”. When the new feature is enabled, users will see a reminder at the top of the chat window that will let them know that they have enabled the default timer for messages to disappear in new chats.

As part of this week’s update, Meta also added two new durations for the disappearance of WhatsApp messages feature. Previously, users could only choose to dismiss chats in seven days. But Meta has now added the 24 hour and 90 day options. The options are still not as extensive as those in Signal, where users can choose between 30 seconds and 4 weeks or add a custom duration, but it should still be a welcome change.

“We believe that the disappearance of messages along with end-to-end encryption are two crucial characteristics that define what it means to be a private messaging service today and bring us one step closer to the feeling of a personal conversation,” he said. Meta said in the blog post. However, not everyone looks forward to this kind of update on WhatsApp.

The UK National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has expressed concern that the enhanced function of disappearance messages could be exploited by child abusers. “This ill-considered design move will allow offenders to quickly remove evidence of child abuse,” said Andy Burrows, NSPCC’s online child safety policy manager (via The Guardian).

photo by MIH83 to Pixabay

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