WhatsApp will roll out Disappearing Messages feature

WhatsApp chat on a smartphone screen

WhatsApp, the popular messaging app, is preparing to release a new feature called Disappearing Messages. The company has recently updated its FAQ page to include the feature, hinting it’ll go live soon. Disappearing Messages will automatically erase messages after seven days when enabled.

The feature won’t automatically run on all chats, so you must enable it where you want it. You also don’t have the option to change the seven-day period.

Keep in mind that WhatsApp will also have a Save to Camera Roll feature that automatically saves a screenshot of each message to the user's device. So, if you want to erase all traces of the deleted messages, you must disable the Save to Camera Roll feature.

How does this help you? Self-deleting messages can add a level of security to business conversations. It erases potentially sensitive information from your chat history, making it less likely to fall into the wrong hands if you misplace your phone or it’s stolen.

In addition to Disappearing Messages, WhatsApp has a number of other security-focused features, including encrypted multiple device access, secure video calls and encrypted cloud backups.

The move comes as competing apps like Signal and Telegram release similar features, though they include customizable expiration times. There’s no word as to whether or not WhatsApp plans to add that feature.