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WhatsApp Disappearing Messages now available

It seems that the disappearing message space has just got a little more competitive. You might recall my recent blog post on popular messaging app Viber rolling out secret (disappearing) messages?

I predicted in this blog post that it wouldn’t be too long before WhatsApp, the biggest messaging App which is owned by Facebook would roll out something similar – well it seems that prediction is correct.

WhatsApp has over 1.2 billion – yes billion active monthly users. As part of it’s 8th Birthday it’s begun rolling out a new major feature called ‘Status’. Status lets users take pictures, add stickers and drawings – just like Snapchat – and share them to all their contacts for 24 hours. Yes they vanish after 24 hours…

The other big thing about this update is that it’s built upon WhatsApp end-to-end encryption technology which it rolled out to cover all messages being sent in April 2016. WhatsApp gives a nice little overview on how end to end encryption works,

‘when you send a message, the only person who can read it, is the person or group chat that you send that message to. No one can see inside that message. Not cybercriminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us. End-to-end encryption helps make communication via WhatsApp private – sort of like a face-to-face conversation’.


So how does Status Work?

Well if you’re just reading this post now, it’s most likely already available. If you have recently updated your Whatsapp account you can launch the update using the little bar at bottom right where you’ll see ‘Status’ right beside your calls. Tap on this and it’ll take you into the ‘Status’ screen in which you can update your own status and view status updates from your WhatsApp contacts.

To share, post a photo, video or gifs to your Status, just tap on the + circle top right and choose the image or video you want to use. Then tap on the blue Send button, as you normally would, to send a message in WhatsApp.

Privacy. What do you need to know?

When testing the new ‘Status’ feature it looks like, by default, Status Privacy is sent to ‘My Contacts’. This means that any image or video which you share on your status can be seen by any of your contacts. To view your ‘Status’ privacy all you need to do is screen tap on privacy, top left .

You will see the following:

Who will see my updates?

  • My Contacts – Share with all of your contact s
  • My Contacts Expect – Share with your contacts expect people you select
  • Only Share with -You choose who you stare the ‘Status’ with

It’s also worth remembering that when you update your privacy within Status Privacy it won’t affect Status updates which you have already sent. We’ve also noticed that it’s possible to
screen-shot a Status without flagging any sort of alert.

Of course it’s still possible, like with other Smartphone Apps offering ‘disappearing’ message features, for someone with a second device to capture a picture of the message or video you’ve sent. This is important. And key to remember for your privacy. Remember this and the advice to always, always be careful when sending anything which might place you in a difficult or compromising situation.

Stay Safe Online


If you’d like more practical tips on how to protect yourself online and improve your Online Reputation grab a copy of my book..


Posted By Wayne Denner

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Wayne Denner shares his knowledge & expertise on leading tech industry blog.

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