WhatsApp offers the sending of short-lived messages

WhatsApp announced today that its users will be able to send short-lived messages. They will disappear from the conversation thread after seven days, the news service said.

According to WhatsApp, short-lived messages keep the conversation easier and more private. In individual chats, each of the two people involved can switch temporary messages on or off. Administrators have control in groups.

WhatsApp says it sets a deadline of seven for short-lived messages “because we believe it offers peace of mind”. The message system gives the example of a shopping list or the address of a shop. It will “be there while you need it and then disappear when it is no more.”

The seven-day deadline could change over time, warns WhatsApp. It all depends on user feedback on the matter. Furthermore, WhatsApp started the temporary messages later than expected for security reasons. Messaging wanted to continue to offer end-to-end encryption, just like with “normal” calls.

Ephemeral messages are now available on WhatsApp. As always, this is a phased deployment. Some users have the feature today. The others have to wait for the next few days.