Last November, WhatsApp began rolling out a disappearing messages feature to users. While its pretty self-explanatory, the whole “this message will self-destruct” gimmick isn’t new to online chat platforms, WhatsApp’s take on it wasn’t fantastic either. And while it’s getting a bit of a fix, it still isn’t great.
Whatsapp needs to do some fine-tuning
See, upon first arriving on WhatsApp, disappearing messages came in two flavours: On, or off. That’s it. Enabling the feature resulted in your messages, you guessed it, disappear, but only after 7 days. An entire week. With no way to change it. That will change with an upcoming update, which will add in a 24 hour option, says WABetaInfo.
It’s a pretty obvious thing to add, particularly when competitors like Telegram have had customisable termination times for their versions of disappearing messages from day one.
While this new update fixes that problem (albeit in a limited way), WhatsApp’s disappearing messages still have plenty of other problems. For example, media sent in a disappearing message still gets downloaded onto the recipient’s phone, unless they have the auto-download feature turned off, which kind of defeats the purpose of a self-destructing message. What’s more, if you send a self-deleting message, and then someone else forwards it before it deletes, that forwarded message does not delete. Which, again, undermines the entire concept behind a deleting message.
Furthermore, and possibly most baffling of all, WhatsApp warns in an FAQ that if someone quotes (via the “reply” button) a disappearing message, there’s a chance that the message within the quote might remain in chat longer than seven days.
There’s also no screenshot alert like the one Snapchat uses, again nullifying the effectiveness of a disappearing message. WhatsApp’s gonna need to throw in a few more updates than this to make a feature really worth using.
Source: Android Authority