WhatsApp’s rolling out a new option that will enable users to keep disappearing messages in a chat thread, if the message sender approves.
Which seems to defeat the purpose – but maybe, there are times where something you send as a disappearing DM is of significant value to the recipient, and it’s fine if they keep it.
As explained by WhatsApp:
“Today we’re introducing ‘Keep in Chat’, so you can hang on to texts you need for later, with a special superpower for the sender. To make this work, the sender will be notified when someone keeps a message, and the sender will have the ability to veto the decision. If you’ve decided your message can’t be kept by others, your decision is final, no one else can keep it and the message will be deleted when the timer expires. This way you have the final say on how messages you send are protected.”
So you can decide if you let a requesting user keep your message, or you can delete it permanently. I guess, given that people can still take screenshots and pictures of messages, it makes some sense to add this as a native feature, even if it does somewhat counter the concept of disappearing messages.
WhatsApp added disappearing messages in 2020, which was once a key feature of Snapchat in its initial days.
Back then, Snapchat become known as the app for sending questionable content, due to this feature, but since then virtually every messaging app had added an ephemeral element, in order to provide more privacy and engagement options.
And again, with various options for capturing DM details anyway, even if they are set to disappear, it probably makes some sense for WhatsApp to add this as an in-stream option, with the additional sender control tools.
Maybe, that actually ends up enabling creators to maintain more control of their DMs.
Not sure it has a heap of brand use cases – but maybe, if you send out limited time offers, this could give recipients more opportunity to capitalize on them, with the capacity to also retract them at any time.
You can read more about WhatsApp’s new ‘Keep in Chat’ option here.