WhatsApp, a US-run messaging service, has launched a ‘disappearing messages’ feature that will allow users to auto-delete their chats after seven days once the setting is activated.
The facebook-owned instant messaging platform, with over two billion users worldwide, broke the news in a blog post on Thursday ahead of an update set to hit all devices in November.
WhatsApp said the feature will work for both personal and group chats while admins will be able to enable it at will.
It can also wipe out photos and videos as the messages automatically disappear for both parties after it’s active.
“Our goal is to make conversations on WhatsApp feel as close to in-person as possible, which means they shouldn’t have to stick around forever,” it wrote.
“When turned on, new messages sent to a chat will disappear after 7 days, helping the conversation feel lighter and more private. In a one-to-one chat, either person can turn disappearing messages on or off.
“In groups, admins will have control. 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.
“We hope people enjoy disappearing messages, which will be rolling out to users everywhere this month.”
The new feature can be turned on by tapping the chat name at the top of the screen and hitting ‘disappearing messages’.
The development is the latest in the list of several features introduced by the company since the dawn of the year.
In April, WhatsApp had increased the limit on the number of participants allowed to use its video call feature from four to eight to improve communication amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many of us are isolated from friends and family. People all over the world are turning to voice and video calling on WhatsApp more than ever before,” the company had said.
It also introduced a new feature that allows users to send and receive money via Facebook Pay, a payment service, in June.
The ‘disappearing messages’ feature will be available on all WhatsApp-supported devices including Android, iOS, and Linux-based KaiOS devices.