WhatsApp will be adding new functionality to its disappearing messages feature, which will let users set messages in a chat to automatically be deleted after a set period of time.
As announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook, WhatsApp users will now have the option to turn on disappearing messages automatically for all their new one-on-one chats, so that all future messages will be automatically deleted from the service.
The Meta-owned messaging service also said it's giving users more options for how long before a message is deleted. When the feature first launched in November last year, users only had the option of having messages disappear after seven days.
Going forward, however, there will also be the option of deleting them after just 24 hours or 90 days. The new functionality was previously reported as being in development.
WhatsApp has noted that turning on disappearing messages by default won't affect existing chats. When you start a new one-on-one chat, a notice will appear to say that the disappearing messages feature is turned on, alongside a note that says it's on by default (so your contacts don't think it's anything personal). You also have the option of turning the setting off for individual chats.
Although the new default setting doesn't affect group chats, WhatsApp said it's added a new option when creating groups to let you enable the disappearing messages feature.
The company said the new features are available now across all platforms. Instructions for how to use them can be found in WhatsApp's FAQ page.