WhatsApp users now have the option to choose whether or not to delete their messages after certain time frames. This update is a great opportunity for them. 

Meta, a Meta-owned messaging platform has expanded options for the disappearing message feature that was launched late last year. 

As well as being able to make messages disappear after seven days, users now have two extra options for how long the deletion period is – 24 hours and 90 days. 

Disappearing Messages is a feature that makes new messages disappear in a selected chat room after a certain time.  

For personal reasons, people might choose to remove their messages. For example, they may contain sensitive information they don’t want accessible anywhere – not even on WhatsApp, which is end-to-end encrypted. 

WhatsApp wishes to imitate face-to-face conversation security and provide users with the assurance that all messages will not be saved online. 

WhatsApp asserts that the storing of all communications forever is “the equivalent to a note-taker following us around, making a permanent record” of every word said. 

WhatsApp now allows users to turn Disappearing Messages on for their chats. 

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WhatsApp is adding two new durations for disappearing messages - 24 hours and 90 days. This complements the existing option of seven days

WhatsApp has added two new lengths to its messaging system for disappearing messages: 24 hours and 90 day. These new options are in addition to the seven-day option.


WhatsApp can make messages disappear by turning on disappearing messages or by turning them off.

New messages in chat that have disappeared messages can be sent after they are disabled. 

This selection is used to control all chat messages. All messages sent and received prior to the enabling of disappearing messages won’t be affected. 

Both users can make disappearing messages part of an individual chat. 

To enable disappearing messages:

  1. Chat with WhatsApp 
  2. Tap the name of the contact. 
  3. You can tap the Disappearing messages. 
  4. If prompted, tap Continue. 
  5. You can choose from. 

To disable disappearing messages: 

  1. Chat with WhatsApp
  2. Tap the name of the contact.
  3. Click on Disappearing Messages.
  4. If prompted, tap Continue.
  5. Choose from the following offers

WhatsApp announced the updates in a blog posting. These changes will be available globally to WhatsApp users starting today. 

The message states, “Determining the length of a message should be up to you,” We’re used to saving digital copies of almost all the things we do without ever thinking. 

“It has become the equivalent to a note-taker that follows us around, making permanent records of all we have said.

“Today, our customers have more choices to manage their messages and stay longer.  

Today’s other new change – having Disappearing Messages turned on for all their new chats – is optional and does not change or delete any existing chats.

This feature automatically applies Disappearing messages to any one-to-one conversations that are initiated or shared with another user when it is turned on. 

Users can also opt to turn on Disappearing Messages for group chats that they create – however, the feature isn’t automatically set for group chats like it is for one-to-one chats. 

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, formerly Facebook, announced this new feature. 

“Not all messages have to stay around forever.” 

WhatsApp launched Disappearing messages in November 2020. The company stated at the time that they want conversations to feel as natural as human conversation so they don’t need to be around forever.

However, there is also nothing in place to stop the other user from screenshotting a message, and unlike Snapchat, WhatsApp won’t warn you if they do take a screenshot. 

WhatsApp has increasingly been exploring options to make user messages more ‘ephemeral’ – in August this year, WhatsApp started rolling out a Snapchat-inspired feature called View Once, which causes photos and videos to ‘self-destruct’ after they’ve been opened.

According to the firm, users will be able to transmit sensitive data more easily and safely if content is removed. 

WhatsApp wants to emphasize that WhatsApp’s conversations are encrypted from the beginning. 

This means that only the participants of a chat can access the content of the messages, and no one in between – not even staff of the company that owns the service (i.e. WhatsApp).

A WhatsApp user can make their messages invisible, but it is not likely that they will be read by others than the users who have received their messages. 

Most users simply want security knowing their most intimate or revealing messages will not be available on WhatsApp. 

The other user can take screenshots or lose the user’s mobile phone, but there are no restrictions. 

All conversations on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted. This means that only the participants of a chat can access the content of the messages, and no one in between

WhatsApp conversations are encrypted from the beginning to the end. Only the chat participants can see the contents of messages. No one else is allowed to do so. 

WhatsApp has long praised end-to–end encryption for its online messaging service. 

However, plans to implement the privacy standard for Facebook Messaging and Instagram (also owned by Facebook), seem to be stuck.

This could partly be due to opposition from child protection charities who believe end-to–end encryption makes authorities more difficult to spot paedophiles who send children messages on WhatsApp.  


Mark Zuckerberg revealed plans in spring 2019 to add end-to-end encryption (aside from WhatsApp), to Facebook and all its platforms. 

Zuckerberg described the feature in a blog posting as “an important tool for developing a privacy focused social network.”

He said that encryption is centralizing. It prevents services such as ours from viewing the content and makes it harder for others to see your data.  

However, the changes have not been implemented two years later. 

Facebook revealed later that encryption of messengers by default would take many years.

Jon Millican was Facebook’s Messenger privacy software engineer in January 2020. 

Millican stated, “I will be truthful right now and admit that we are still at a point where there are more questions than answers.”

“While progress has been made in planning, it turned out that adding encryption end-to-end to an existing system was incredibly difficult and requires fundamentally rethinking nearly everything.

Opposition from Facebook shareholder activists may account for the long delay. 

MailOnline received a statement from Facebook stating that while the company doesn’t have a set timetable, it describes it as a long-term effort.