What is the clock that appears on some WhatsApp profile photos

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User reports are multiplying in recent days for a specific reason: it is a notification relating to temporary messages, a new conversation mode activated these days within WhatsApp. Messages sent to these contacts are automatically deleted after 7 days.

These days within the WhatsApp instant messaging platform some conversations are being marked with a clock symbol – a small icon superimposed in the lower right corner of the photograph of the contacts with which the conversation is open. The novelty was greeted with amazement by some users, but refers to a feature of the platform anticipated for months and activated in recent days on smartphones and on the web: temporary messages.

WhatsApp temporary messages

Those who follow the events that revolve around WhatsApp and its development have been waiting for this feature for months: it is a special mode that can be activated in every single conversation, and which ensures that the messages sent within them are automatically deleted from the history after a period of 7 days. The mode is activated and deactivated between the settings of the individual chats while, to distinguish conversations and groups with messages in temporary mode, the app uses a clock symbol placed on the profile or group image; in this way, the participants know at all times that the information exchanged within the relative virtual rooms is volatile.

temporary messages
temporary messages

The developers call these special missives ephemeral messages; despite the public announcement of recent days on the web, however, within the app, the news was not particularly advertised. This is why some users found themselves in front of the relative icon without knowing what it meant: in these cases, the group administrator or the other interlocutor activated the ephemeral message mode without warning; WhatsApp for its part launches a special notification within the conversation, which however can easily go unnoticed.

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