WhatsApp’s “disappearing messages” feature is finally available in India and users can now use it on all platforms, namely WhatsApp for Android, iOS, Desktop, KaiOS and Web. However, users need to activate the feature manually, and as WhatsApp explains, messages (including media files) automatically disappear after seven days. The disappear messages feature can also be used in group chats; however, the enable / disable option is up to the administrator only. The Facebook-owned company had warned that it should be used with “trusted” users as anyone can still take a screenshot.

To enable the feature on WhatsApp for Android and iOS devices (individual chat), users will need to open a WhatsApp chat> Tap on the contact name> Tap on Missing messages> If prompted, tap “CONTINUE”> Select Enabled. The Facebook-owned company said the same method can be used for WhatsApp for desktop, web, and KaiOS. Likewise, the same method applies to deactivate the disappearance of messages feature.

Whereas, to activate the feature on a WhatsApp group, administrators with an Android or iOS app need to open the WhatsApp group chat> Tap the group name> Tap Disappearing messages> if prompted, tap “ CONTINUE ”> Select On. The method remains the same for WhatsApp Desktop and WhatsApp Web. Group admins with the WhatsApp KaiOS app, on the other hand, will need to open the WhatsApp group chat> Tap the group name> Tap Missing messages> if prompted, tap CONTINUE> Select On.

Once the feature is enabled, the chat box will display the message to both parties that WhatsApp disappearance messages are now enabled. However, the messaging platform does not send a notification every time the feature is turned on / off. Previously, WhatsApp also warned that if the disappearing message was forwarded to a group or individual chat, the forwarded disappearing message would not be deleted. Likewise, if a user creates a backup before a message is automatically deleted, the file is now saved permanently. In addition, if automatic download is enabled (which is enabled by default), media files will be saved on the smartphone but will disappear from the chat after seven days. Additionally, if you specifically reply to a message that disappears in a discussion, the quoted message text may remain visible even after seven days.

WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, had also explained that previous messages or media files, that is, before the activation of the option to disappear messages, will not be affected. If users cannot see the option, they are advised to get the latest version of the app from the respective app store.

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