Signal rolls out a new update for disappearing messages feature

What do social media users seek more than anything…privacy. And this is something that the disappearing messages feature seems to take care of really well. Signal, an encrypted messaging app has made improvements to this feature by giving users more control over it.

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Signal’s developers announced the ability to set disappearing messages as the default on the app. Previously, users would be required to activate disappearing messages on individual chats. Users can still do this, but there’s now a master option to set a default timer that will affect every chat initiated.

Signal’s disappearing messages option deletes chats for both the sender and receiver after a set amount of time passes. The app’s developers believe that this will benefit those looking to slim down their storage space or privacy-forward individuals intent on keeping digital breadcrumbs to a minimum.

The social media app is also adding more options for how long disappearing messages stick around before evaporating. The app’s users can now select an interval up to four weeks and as short as 30 seconds. You can even lower that to a single second in the app’s custom time options.

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How to switch on the feature on Signal

The new default disappearing messages feature is located in the app’s primary settings menu. To switch on the feature:

  • Tap on the three-dot menu button in the top-right of the app.
  • Select Settings.
  • Tap Privacy.
  • Scroll down to Disappearing messages, and tap on it.
  • Here you can select Off if you want to set a timer for each conversation, or you can select seven predefined time options ranging from four weeks to 30 seconds.
  • Users also have the option to set a Custom value here.

The upgrade to this feature makes Signal somewhat superior to other messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram. Both apps have the same feature but only to a certain degree giving users limited control over the feature.

WhatsApp’s disappearing messages feature

In April this year, WhatsApp announced that it was testing a 24hr option for disappearing messages that would allow the messages to vanish 24 hours after being sent. Users that enjoyed the disappearing messages feature since it was introduced in an update believed it would be more useful if messages could be deleted after 24 hours rather than seven days.

Read more: WhatsApp is testing a 24hr option for disappearing messages feature

The timeline for the roll-out of the feature was never revealed but reports from WABetaInfo hinted that WhatsApp was testing a 24hr option for disappearing messages so users should be optimistic about seeing it in the near future.

Although privacy is one of the most compelling aspects of this feature, it is far from its only benefit. It will also help people with limited storage space, as messages tend to take up a lot of room. While you wait for WhatsApp to upgrade its feature, you can experience this feature by downloading the latest version of the Signal app via Google Play and App Store.

Read more: 8 reasons why Telegram is better than WhatsApp

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