WhatsApp is giving users a chance to hold onto Disappearing Messages just a bit longer with the new Keep in Chat tool.
The way it works is pretty simple. First, select the text with the important piece of information. Then tap the bookmark icon in the app’s top bar to save said message. The feature works with plain text as well as voice notes, according to a post on WhatsApp. Saved messages will sport the bookmark icon so you don’t forget. You can also check the Kept Messages folder in the Settings menu which organizes everything by chat.
However, there’s a catch: you must have the consent of the person who sent the message in the first place. When you attempt to save something, the sender will get a notification informing them the recipient in the chat wants to keep the message. WhatsApp states the sender has final say. If they veto your request, there’s nothing you can do. The message will then “be deleted when the timer expires.”
You may think this update is rather strange as it appears to undermine the very concept of Disappearing Messages. Meta has been tweaking the feature to have texts last longer in chats since its launch back in 2021. The maximum amount of time before deletion is 90 days. Meta states in the announcement that Keep in Chat offers better “flexibility to keep the messages [people] need.” Of course, you can always screenshot the messages to keep them permanently, but maybe your on-device folder is a rat’s nest of random images making finding the right image a real chore. This update can help you organize things.
Keep in Chat “will roll out globally” over the coming weeks.
Speaking of texts, files discovered in a WhatsApp iOS beta from late March revealed Meta is working on finally allowing users a way to edit messages. So someday iPhone owners may be able to undo those embarrassing typos. It’s unknown exactly when the editing tool will launch since the feature is apparently still in development, but it is something to look forward to if it happens. Android owners, on the other hand, do have a beta readily available to them adding a new way to edit their contacts list. It’s available for download via the Google Play Store.
Be sure to check out TechRadar’s recently updated list of the best smartphone deals for April 2023 if you’re looking for something new on which to run the latest version of WhatsApp.