WhatsApp is looking to add a really long time limit to disappearing messages

WhatsApp by Facebook stock photo 9TL;DR

  • WhatsApp is testing a three-month-long time limit for disappearing messages.
  • Turning it on will make messages disappear only after 90 days.

WhatsApp‘s disappearing messages could soon get a really long time limit defeating the privacy-focused purpose of the feature. According to WhatsApp sleuths over at WABetaInfo, the messaging app is testing a new 90-day option for disappearing messages.

The new 90 days limit was spotted in the latest WhatsApp beta for Android with version number 2.21.9.6. Turning it on will make messages disappear only after a whopping three months. That’s more or less like the messages are being archived for auto-deletion after three months.

We previously reported that WhatsApp is also testing a 24-hour option for disappearing messages. That shorter time limit is still not available on WhatsApp. Currently, disappearing messages can only self-destruct after seven days.

Related: The best alternative messaging apps to WhatsApp

Instead of further reducing the time limit for disappearing messages, WhatsApp’s plan to increase it to 90 days seems like a move in the wrong direction. Especially since the company first touted the feature as something that would make “conversation feel lighter and more private.”

WhatsApp’s initial goal was to offer users “peace of mind that conversations aren’t permanent.” With a 90-day limit, it seems users will not only be able to retain conversations but also forget about them in due course.

Nevertheless, at least the service has a “View Once” option for photos and videos. Although, even that is not completely foolproof as it doesn’t restrict receivers from taking screenshots or saving the media elsewhere, same as disappearing messages.

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