WhatsApp makes the “disappearing messages” feature official. After the first rumors and leaks about the this, WhatsApp has them ready to activate in the application: the company has added the official information to its website.
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With the increased awareness of privacy in the applications, messaging apps are in the spotlight as a significant amount of sensitive information is sent through them. Apps such as Telegram or Signal allow you to add an extra layer of security by creating secret chats with messages that self-destruct, an option that until now had no major competitor. The company plans to make up for this shortcoming, although not in such a drastic way. Disappearing messages will disappear after seven days and the time cannot be configured, at least for now.
The feature is official. However, they have not yet reached the applications, not even in beta: to use them you will still have to wait. Surely not too long.
The idea behind disappearing messages is to add an extra layer of privacy and security to the conversations sent through the service. First, you have to activate those messages in the options of each chat; then you just have to chat as usual: all those messages will disappear after seven days. At the moment there is no option to adjust the counter. And there are serious limitations to the privacy of disappearing messages.
- These messages do not disappear from the notifications, so they can be read after seven days if WhatsApp is not opened during that time.
- You can respond to disappearing messages with quoted text. This text will remain in the chat even if the original message disappears.
- If you forward a disappearing message to a chat that does not have the disappearing messages enabled, the message will not disappear.
- The disappearing messages are stored in the WhatsApp backup. If you restore the copy after seven days, these messages will still appear.
WhatsApp makes the “disappearing messages” feature official. As we can see, the security and privacy of WhatsApp’s disappearing messages are questionable. We will see if the company updates the function to the level of secret Telegram chats: messages that self-destruct according to the time set by the user and with maximum limitations so that they can’t be shared outside the chat.