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Are Your WhatsApp Messages Suddenly Disappearing? Here's Why

 WhatsApp’s new 'Disappearing Messages' feature, which was rumored to be in the works for a while, has finally been launched through an update that rolls out globally this month. The new feature will have a time limit of seven days before the message gets automatically deleted. Disappearing messages aren’t exactly a new feature and have been available on many different applications. However, it will be new for WhatsApp and it will be interesting to see how users respond to it. 
WhatsApp Messages, holding phone
In a blog post, WhatsApp said, “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. That’s why we’re excited to introduce the option to use disappearing messages on WhatsApp.”

How does WhatsApp's 'Disappearing Messages' feature work?

Let’s look at a few important points that should help.

* The first thing you must know about WhatsApp's 'Disappearing Messages' feature is that it’s available for individual as well as group chats. In a one-to-one chat, either person will have the option of enabling or disabling the disappearing messages. In group chats, the group admins will be able to turn on the feature.

* Once the disappearing messages feature is enabled, any new messages sent in the individual or group chat will disappear after 7 days. “This setting won’t affect messages you previously sent or received in the chat," WhatsApp said on its support page. According to officials, the seven-day feature is being used to help conversations feel lighter and more private.

* Bear in mind, though, that disappearing messages will also wipe out photos and videos after seven days. So, if you don’t want to let go of your WhatsApp photos and videos, it would be better to activate auto-download. Go to WhatsApp > tap More options > Settings > Data and storage usage > Media auto-download.

* Another thing you can do to save your messages is to create a backup before a message disappears. Then, the disappearing message will be included in the backup. Go to WhatsApp > tap More options > Settings > Chats > Chat backup > BACK UP. "Disappearing messages will be deleted when a user restores from a backup," WhatsApp explained in their blog post.

* Thankfully, the Disappearing Messages feature will be available on all WhatsApp-supported devices including Android, iOS, and Linux-based KaiOS devices, as well as WhatsApp Web and Desktop platforms.

How to activate disappearing messages on WhatsApp?

Open the WhatsApp chat on Android or iOS and tap on the contact’s name. Select the ‘Disappearing messages’ setting and press ‘Select On’.

You can disable the setting any time you want by following the same steps mentioned above and tapping on ‘Select Off’.

Not everything disappears

WhatsApp Messages, whatsapp logo
While the disappearing messages feature promises to make chats more secure, it isn’t completely fool-proof yet. 
For instance, if a user doesn’t open WhatsApp in the seven days after activating the feature, the messages will disappear but a preview of the message might still be shown in notifications until WhatsApp is opened.
If you reply to a disappearing message, WhatsApp says that the quoted text might remain in the chat after seven days. Furthermore, if a disappearing message is forwarded to a chat where the user has disabled the disappearing messages feature, the message won’t disappear in the forwarded chat.
You should also remember that a person will always have the option of taking a screenshot of a message before it disappears. 
It remains to be seen how users will respond to this new feature and whether they will be comfortable with it. WhatsApp will surely have to keep an eye out on user feedback and make appropriate changes if required.
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