WhatsApp tests a change that means disappearing messages, won't

Whatsapp Message Hero
Whatsapp Message Hero (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp is testing a change that will allow people to keep messages that would normally disappear.
  • Anyone can mark a message to disappear even after someone removed its expiration time.
  • If anyone decides to make a message disappear, it will disappear for everyone.

WhatsApp is testing a change that will allow people to mark a disappearing message so that it doesn't. That means that any message that is sent as a disappearing message could potentially hang around forever.

The change is part of a recent WhatsApp beta release first reported by WABetaInfo. The theory is simply — users will be able to remove the expiration date from expiring messages so that they don't get deleted when the time comes. However, the report notes that WhatsApp will require that all parties agree that the message shouldn't be deleted. Otherwise, it'll be removed as planned.

Whatsapp screenshot showing disappearing message options

Whatsapp screenshot showing disappearing message options (Image credit: WABetaInfo)

As you can see in this attached screenshot, when you keep a message it won't disappear from the chat after its expiration, but anyone can un-keep it in the case they don't agree to keep the message in the chat after the expiration.If a message is kept, it means it was a disappearing message converted to a normal message to avoid the expiration. When someone tries to un-keep a message, the message will be immediately deleted for everyone and it disappears from the chat.

Disappearing messages are a great privacy feature and one that helps to make WhatsApp one of the best iPhone apps for people who want secure messaging options. There's no telling when this feature change will roll out to everyone using the version of WhatsApp that's in the App Store, but keep your eyes peeled.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.