The ephemeral messages of WhatsApp have arrived- so you can send messages that disappear in your chats. We have known for some time that WhatsApp works on the new function called “ephemeral messages”, which allows users of the messaging platform to send messages and which, after a short time, delete themselves
Later, we learned more details about how this new feature works and just a few weeks ago we completely got rid of the doubts thanks to a leak that showed us how it works. And now, as 2020 draws to a close, WhatsApp has formalized self-destructing messages… more or less.
“Ephemeral messages”, the new feature of WhatsApp
Through its help website, WhatsApp has announced the arrival of this new feature – we don’t know if it’s accidental or intentional – called “Ephemeral Messages” or “Temporary Messages”.
How it works is what we already knew- it will be possible to activate an option that will make our messages sent to a chat disappear after seven days.
This option will affect all messages in the chat, even if those that were already sent will not be deleted.
WhatsApp specifies that any user can activate temporary messages in an individual chat, although in group chats it will be the administrators who activate or deactivate this option.
The company also took the opportunity to clarify some doubts, on what happens if a user does not open WhatsApp during those seven days despite having a temporary message waiting.
In this situation, the message will be deleted, although WhatsApp indicates that its content may remain visible in the preview, for example in WhatsApp message notifications. Also, it will not be deleted in case the message was shared in another chat.
They also say that, if you create a backup of WhatsApp in which is included a conversation with temporary posts, these will remain in the conversation when the copy will be restored.
Finally, it is convenient to remember that if you have activated the automatic download of WhatsApp multimedia files, the multimedia content of the temporary messages will be automatically saved on the mobile phone, even if this content will disappear from the chat together with the message.
The risks of temporary messages “Ephemeral messages”
Along with the announcement of the new Ephemeral Messages feature, WhatsApp takes this opportunity to encourage users to use temporary messages only with trusted people. The company itself already indicates some of the risks that using this feature may have, as it is not foolproof for the moment. They indicate the following:
- Forward the temporary message or take a screenshot and save it before it disappears.
- Copy and save the contents of a temporary message before it disappears.
- Take a photo of a temporary message with another device before it disappears.
- Save attached media files in temporary messages
How to enable or disable temporary WhatsApp messages
Although at the time of publication of this article this function is not yet available, we already know the steps to activate the temporary messages “Ephemeral Messages” of WhatsApp or deactivate this function both in an individual chat and in a group. These are the steps to follow:
- Open the WhatsApp chat in which you want to activate or deactivate the function.
- Tap the contact or group name.
- Tap the “Ephemeral Messages” option, then tap “Continue”- it will only appear the first time you use this feature.
- Select the option “On” or “Off” depending on whether you want to enable or disable the disappearance of messages.