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Signal Adds Default Disappearing Messages

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For when you need to ensure an entire conversation never happened.

My family and I have been using Signal as our default chatting app after switching over from WhatsApp back in January. After a bit of an adjustment period, it’s been pretty handy, offering better user privacy protocols than WhatsApp, as well as additional handy gimmicks like a desktop app I don’t need to leave my phone on to use. Many users switched over to Signal over privacy concerns, which is why Signal’s been adding lots of privacy-oriented features.

While Signal has had disappearing message functionality for a while now, a feature that’s becoming more popular with many chatting apps that allows you to erase your messages after a certain time has passed, a newly applied update has tweaked it slightly. In addition to setting up a message to disappear after the fact, you can now set messages to disappear by default. When the default is turned on, all messages will disappear after a certain amount of time has passed, the precise amount you can freely customize in the app’s settings. You can have your messages disappear after just a few seconds, or leave up them for several days. This adds an extra layer of safety for those who use disappearing messages to preserve their privacy but may have trouble remembering to enable it after every single conversation.

Of course, as Signal themselves have pointed out, there’s no guarantee that disappearing messages will completely wipe them away. After all, all someone would have to do to maintain them is take a screenshot. Even so, handy tweaks like these give users a smidge more control over their online privacy, and it’s a tweak they’re happy to make.