WhatsApp update makes disappearing messages optional, sort of

WhatsApp Lifestyle
(Image credit: Chris Wedel / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp is rolling out a new feature to save disappearing messages.
  • You can find the option to keep a vanishing message by long-pressing on it and then tapping the bookmark icon.
  • The sender will be notified about your request to save a message, and it's up to them to decide whether you can keep it for later.

Good news for WhatsApp users who might want to keep their messages in place, at least for recipients: the platform announced a new feature that will allow you to request that a vanishing message be saved for later.

The new capability is known as "Keep in Chat," and it lets you hang on to a vanishing chat in case it contains information that you'll want to revisit later. However, the sender will have the last say on whether to keep or remove the message you're attempting to save.

To keep a disappearing message, you can long-press on the chat in question and then tap the bookmark icon in the action bar at the top. However, the message is not immediately saved.

WhatsApp explained in a blog post that the sender has the "special superpower" to veto your request. That's because they'll be notified about your action, and it is up to them to decide whether a message should be kept or deleted after the timer expires. The message will be moved to the "Kept Messages" folder if the sender consents to your request; otherwise, it will disappear at the set time.

WhatsApp option to save a disappearing message

(Image credit: WhatsApp)

The new capability sort of makes the disappearing message optional as opposed to being an absolute way of making chats temporary. Vanishing messages kicked off in late 2020 with the goal of decluttering your phone and saving precious storage space, as do many of the best messaging apps

On the other hand, the Meta-owned platform notes that there are moments when you may want to keep a "voice note or key piece of information" and any other message that contains significant details that you fear will slip your mind.

With checks in place, the sender retains control over whether the message sticks around, especially if privacy may be at risk. WhatsApp is rolling out the new feature globally to everyone over the next few weeks.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.