WhatsApp will now let people hang on to temporary messages – but it will alert the sender and give them the power to make a decision on the fate of the message.
The disappearing messages function means messages automatically delete after 24 hours, seven days, or 90 days.
But a new function called “keep in chat” lets users identify messages they would like to keep.
The sender will be notified when someone tries to save a message and the power to veto that save lies in their hands.
“We believe if you’ve sent the message, it’s your choice whether others in the chat can keep it for later,” WhatsApp said in a statement.
If the sender decides their message can’t be saved, “your decision is final”, WhatsApp said.
“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.”
Messages that have been saved will be noted with a bookmark icon and organised by chat in the Kept Messages folder.
Read more on Sky News:
How ChatGPT will make marking coursework ‘virtually impossible’
Michael Schumacher’s family plans legal action over AI ‘interview’
The company said it hoped the update would give users more flexibility.
It will be rolled out globally in the coming weeks.