In 2020, WhatsApp introduced a feature called Disappearing Messages, which allowed users to start a chat where messages would disappear within a specified time frame, ranging from 24 hours to 90 days. This feature was designed to enhance privacy and free up storage space on users’ devices.
However, after receiving feedback from users, WhatsApp has decided to reconsider how disappearing messages work. In a recent blog post, the company acknowledged that while the feature was intended to protect messages from being accessed by unauthorized individuals, there are occasions when users may want to keep certain messages for future reference.
To address this, WhatsApp has introduced a new feature called “Keep in Chat,” which enables users to retain specific messages even after the expiration of the disappearing messages time frame. However, the twist is that the user who sent the message can decide whether other chat participants are allowed to keep it or not. This feature provides users with greater control over their messages and ensures that sensitive information remains private.
WhatsApp has stated that the sender will receive a notification when a recipient decides to keep a disappearing message, and they will have the authority to veto the decision. If the sender decides that other chat participants should not keep the message, it will be deleted when the timer expires.
To help users keep track of their saved messages, WhatsApp has added a bookmark icon to distinguish them from regular messages. The messages can also be accessed through the “Kept Messages” folder, organized by chat.
The update has started rolling out, but it may take several weeks or even months to reach all users. If a user attempts to bookmark a message, they will receive a notification informing them that the sender must approve the request to keep the message. This feature gives users greater control over their messages and ensures that sensitive information remains secure.