How to use WhatsApp's 'Disappearing Messages' feature on Android, iOS
Earlier this month, WhatsApp introduced a new 'Disappearing Messages' feature that allows users to send self-deleting messages in individual chats as well as group conversations. After the initial phased roll-out, the feature has finally arrived on all WhatsApp-supported devices and platforms including Android, iOS, KaiOS, WhatsApp Web as well as the WhatsApp Desktop app. Here's a guide on how to use the feature.
WhatsApp's 'Disappearing Messages' feature lets you share self-destructing messages with friends and family that will automatically delete after seven days. Unfortunately, there is no option to adjust the self-destruct timer. WhatsApp warns that disappearing messages feature should be used with trusted individuals since it is possible for someone to forward or take a screenshot of a message before it disappears.
To send disappearing messages to an individual, tap the contact's name and scroll down to find 'Disappearing Messages.' Next, tap on it and select 'On' to activate the feature. Once enabled, you won't lose older messages but all the new messages sent by either party will be deleted after seven days. Also, both the parties will have the option to turn it off.
If you are a group admin, you can enable/disable disappearing messages in the group chat. Once enabled, messages in the chat will disappear after seven days. To activate, open the group chat and tap on the group name. Next, tap 'Disappearing Messages' and select 'On.'
If you want to use the feature on a KaiOS-powered device, WhatsApp Web, or WhatsApp Desktop App, follow the same steps as mentioned for Android and iOS platforms. Notably, if 'Disappearing Messages' is turned on, media shared in the chat will disappear, but will be saved on the phone if auto-download is on. You can turn auto-download off in WhatsApp Settings >Storage and Data.