WhatsApp is working on an update to make its disappearing messages function a little more attractive to users, called ‘Kept Messages’. You may be asking yourself, “Isn’t that just a normal message?” Technically, you’re right. Except kept messages only work in chats where disappearing messages are turned on.
The feature will eventually make its way to WhatsApp’s three major platforms, Android, iOS, and Desktop. Kept messages haven’t even hit the beta testing program yet, so don’t expect it on the standard app any time soon.
Not a starred message
Kept messages most resemble starred messages, another feature that saves specific messages in a specific chat. Starred messages work for regular chats, allowing users to keep track of a message, and visit it later on. Kept messages are exactly the same. The difference is in the chat itself – kept messages will save themselves in chats where messages have a limited life span.
At the moment, we don’t have any more information about the feature. We’ll have to wait for it to actually hit one of the beta programs before we can see how it all works.
But we can hazard a guess here. Kept messages may not be kept forever. Usually, when a regular chat has a starred message, only the user who starred it can return to it. This is perfectly okay. Both parties in any chat know that once a message is sent, it’s sent. Senders enter the chat knowing that texts tend to stick around.
When it comes to disappearing chats, neither party is expecting messages to remain behind in any capacity. Because of this, we expect WhatsApp to render kept messages visible to anyone in a disappearing chat and ‘unkeep’ them at any point. It’s the least WhatsApp can do to help protect users’ privacy. But as we can see above, WhatsApp warns that users may find other ways to keep a message. *cough*screenshots*cough* Be extra careful out there.