Disappearing messages and media can now be sent over WhatsApp messenger. On launching the new feature on WhatsApp said:
"Our mission is to connect the world privately. As more of our conversations move from face-to-face to digital, we acknowledge there is a certain magic in just sitting down with someone in-person, sharing your thoughts in confidence, knowing you are both connecting in private and in that moment. The freedom to be honest and vulnerable, knowing that conversation isn’t being recorded and stored somewhere forever.
Deciding how long a message lasts should be in your hands. We’ve become accustomed to leaving a digital copy of just about everything we type without even thinking about it. It’s become the equivalent of a note taker following us around making a permanent record of everything we’ve said. This is why we introduced, and more recently a way for photos and videos to immediately disappear after being viewed once.
Today we are excited to provide our users with more options to control their messages and how long they stick around, with default disappearing messages and multiple durations."
These may be practical features for personal users conducting private conversations such as less content being stored on the device's memory, you can share any information that you don't want stored on another users device and can also ensure that information is just meant for the receiver as it cannot be forwarded.
As said in another of our blogs, WhatsApp should not be utilised for business communications. However, if it is deployed at work, then disappearing communications pose extra dangers. Neither the sender nor the recipient have access to the message's content. The receiver must open the message in order to view the content, there is no option to preview it. Once anything has been read, there is no way to report it because it will have been deleted.
In addition to breaking WhatsApp's terms of service, businesses and individuals that use the messaging app for business communications run the risk of having problems with accountability and welfare. There is no method for organisations to control or monitor communication. Requests for subject access and freedom of information cannot be met. There is no method to demonstrate employee harassment via electronic means and as a result prevent it.
Disappearing messages strengthen WhatsApp messengers reputation as a poor choice for business communications. Facebook, who owns WhatsApp, is not responsible for this because they make it clear that the service should only be used for personal communication.
Employers have a duty to offer a platform to employees in order to facilitate quick and efficient workplace communication. This is why WhatsApp themselves have released the WhatsApp Business API to enable secure, centralised WhatsApp messaging for businesses. The API allows teams and businesses to collaborate, integrate and automate with our systems and workflows within their business.
Stitch offer a range of messaging solutions built around the WhatsApp API - Get in touch to find out more!