“We’re starting with 7 days because we think it offers peace of mind that conversations aren’t permanent, while remaining practical so you don’t forget what you were chatting about. The shopping list or store address you received a few days ago will be there while you need it, and then disappear after you don’t,” says the company in its blog post.
On personal chats, either person can enable or disable disappearing messages. To do so, tap on the contact’s name and choose ‘Disappearing messages’. Once you’ve done that, tap on ‘Continue’ if prompted and choose ‘On’. The method is the same for group chats, but do keep in mind that only group admins can control disappearing messages.
Before you start using the feature, it is worth noting that messages sent via disappearing messages will remain in the chat if you quote them. Also, it is possible that the recipient may forward disappearing messages to other chats to save a copy of conversations. And yeah, users can take screenshots of disappearing messages. Considering all these limitations, WhatsApp recommends using the feature with trusted individuals.
WhatsApp says it has already started rolling out disappearing messages and the feature should reach all users this month. As of this writing, disappearing messages remained unavailable on my device. To be among the first to receive the feature, make sure you update the app from Google Play Store or App Store.