WhatsApp is pushing a bunch of new features to its service in order to make it more competitive with the likes of Instagram Direct, Slack, and Telegram. The company has announced the arrival of “Disappearing Messages” that will allow users to send each other texts and media that will vanish after 7 days.
Also, there is going to be an improved storage management tool that will allow more detailed control over what is stored in the phone and what is deleted, with filters for size or age.
The Disappearing Messages can only be enabled for a particular chat. You have to tap the contact’s name and then find the feature, and then just tap On/Off. Once enabled, it will automatically delete the messages from the chat thread but might remain in the phone storage if the back-up option is also enabled and managed to pick the message that was intended to be deleted.
The feature will arrive both to Android and iOS but the update is gradual – some users might be getting it, others might have to wait a little bit more.
The redesigned storage management tool will be available in the “Manage storage” submenu in Settings/Storage and Data. Currently, WhatsApp collects all the media in a single folder and visualizes it all at one place, but in the future items that have been forwarded many times will appear in one place, and another is for files larger than 5MB.
That way users will have a better idea what exactly takes so much room and will be able to manage their storage, especially in countries and regions where affordable smartphones with less internal memory are desired and sold.