WhatsApp has introduced a new feature that will help users reduce their digital footprint by ensuring that messages are automatically deleted after seven days. According to the company, users will get this feature when they update their WhatsApp, the new update was made available on Thursday. The feature will be available for one on one chats as well as group chats.
The company also announced that users will be limited to a period of seven days until further review of the success of the feature. Images, as well as videos sent in the specified chats, will also be deleted with the messages after seven days. Users can choose to enable the feature or not.
“We have decided to opt for 7 days for now because it is practical yet safe.” WhatsApp wrote in a blog post. “Seven days will ensure that the shopping list or address a user received stays intact for a few days during which he might need it, and disappears later. We want the platform to be as close to physical conversations as possible, in such conversations words don’t stay around, they certainly shouldn’t stick around on WhatsApp too.”
It doesn’t take much to enable the feature according to WhatsApp, Gizmodo reports. Users who have updated the application can tap the chat name to access the feature which is named “disappearing messages” users can then turn it on to have messages sent in that particular chat deleted after seven days. Turning on the feature will however not affect older messages and either of the two participants in the chat can enable or disable the setting. In group chats, only administrators can do this.
The company also reminded users that the feature is not a fail-safe method of erasing messages as either party in a chat can take screenshots of messages sent or received or forward them to other platforms or other users for later use.
WhatsApp seems to be rolling out a whole lot of new services and features. Just last month, the social media Facebook-owned platform shopping introduced a shopping service for businesses. The feature will allow customers to contact a business, check out the items available for sale, and place their orders all on WhatsApp. This feature is advantageous to both the sellers and WhatsApp itself as the company stated intentions to charge businesses who wish to use the feature.
Businesses that already use Facebook business tools can integrate their stores on the two platforms using the feature. Matt Idema, WhatsApp’s chief operating officer, told reporters that the activities of businesses on WhatsApp will be used to update their Facebook feed.