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Massive WhatsApp update could let users save messages before they are deleted

IF YOU like to wipe your WhatsApp messages after sending them, look away now.

The U.S. chat app is reportedly testing a feature that could allow its users to save chats before they are deleted permanently.


WhatsApp is testing a way to bypass the disappearing messages functionCredit: Getty

Analysis of a recent beta shows the messaging app, which is owned by Facebook parent company Meta, could introduce the feature in a future update, according to tech site WABetaInfo.

The “kept message” function would effectively render obsolete the app’s popular “disappearing messages” setting.

That tool allows users to have their messages automatically self-destruct after they’ve been sent.

Users can choose to have messages vanish after 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days, depending on your settings.

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But the potential upcoming update would allow users to select some messages to remain intact, rather than bite the bullet.

While disappeared messages would be removed from the chat, they would be stored in a separate folder that can be viewed at any time.

All members of the respective conversation can view kept messages unless an admin selects otherwise.

In group chats, the administrator would reportedly have the ultimate power over whether messages disappear or can be kept.

A screenshot of a beta version of the Whatsapp desktop app shows an option which reads: “Anyone can keep or unkeep messages in the chat. Group admins can limit this.”

WABetaInfo first reported on the kept messages feature in July but issued an update this week.

It appears that WhatsApp is working on a way to ensure that people who want to remove their own messages can do so unimpeded.

The tech site shared a screenshot from the latest WhatsApp beta of an alert stating that it is not possible to keep a disappeared message.

According to WABetaInfo, authors of disappearing message can later choose to remove it from the kept messages folder.

This ensures that no one else in the conversation can view it or keep it for later.

That addition means that the authors of disappearing message still ultimately have control over who – if anyone – sees it.

It potentially allays fears that the kept messages folder could make disappearing messages redundant.

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WABetaInfo says it is unclear when the kept messaging feature will be released, as it is still in development.

Disappearing messages are intended to improve privacy, and save storage on devices.

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