What’s up with the new icon on WhatsApp profile pictures?

WhatsApp users might soon be surprised. Some contacts’ profile pictures and even your own could soon change. The reason for this will be a new function. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON reveals what it’s all about.

“Most of what we send doesn’t have to last forever.” With this statement, Whatsapp has introduced a new function – and probably right. The new WhatsApp feature is called “expiring messages” and enables the sender to determine that a new message he has sent disappears from a chat after seven days. With other messengers, this function is often called – somewhat more martially – “self-destructive messages.”

Profile picture indicates change

The new feature will be rolled out gradually over the course of November. So it can happen that a small circle suddenly appears in the lower right corner of the profile picture of a chat partner. On closer inspection it is a clock symbol.

WhatsApp announced the new feature.

Recognizes the changed profile picture

It quickly becomes clear what it means. In this chat, the “running messages” function is activated. This means that the first content disappears after seven days. But there are also exceptions!

Difference between individual and group chats

With the new function, inconsequential and thoughtless things are almost as automatically erased from a chat as anything that has a half-life – such as a shopping list or messages like “I’ll be right there!” Or “Come a little later, sorry.”

In a personal chat, each of the two participants can switch current messages on or off. In groups, this is reserved for the administrators. The new feature should be available on all devices during the month of November.

You activate running messages for each chat individually. In the respective chat you tap on the name of the contact, then on “Expiring messages”, then on “Next” or “Continue”. And finally you choose “On”.

Also interesting: Instructions – copy messages on WhatsApp

Not for secretive people

Whatsapp strongly advises against using expiring messages for secrets or the like. You should only communicate about this with people you trust. The reason for this is that you can forward expiring messages at any time before they disappear or take a screenshot of them – or of course a photo – to save them.

In addition: When replies in Whatsapp, the previously sent message is quoted. In the case of replies to an expiring message, the quoted text may still remain in the chat after seven days. And: If an expiring message is forwarded to a chat in which expiring messages are switched off, the message does not disappear there.

Special case of sent media

Media sent in chat disappear with the respective running messages. However, they will remain on the device if automatic download is enabled. This function can be switched off under “Settings / Data and memory usage”.

If a user creates a backup before a message intended for it disappears, it will be saved there. According to Whatsapp, however, it disappears as soon as he or she restores the backup.

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