Reader Question: "I really, really like the fact that you can much more easily send little snippets of audio and video in the Messages app in iOS 8. What I don't like is that they seem to disappear after a few minutes. Can you tell me why it does that and how to avoid that?"
I agree... I am loving this new feature in iOS 8! I don't use it all the time, but I use it pretty frequently. By default, audio and video snippets that are sent this way are stored locally for a period of 2 minutes (the timer starts once the clip has played all the way through). After 2 minutes, the snippet is automatically removed from the message thread. In most situations, 2 minutes is plenty of time, but in some cases, it would be nice to keep them longer.
There are two ways to keep these audio and video snippets for a longer period of time.
Change the Default Settings
The first method is by changing the default settings. To do this, you will go to Settings ▸ Messages on your iOS device. If you scroll to the bottom of the page, you will see several options:
By changing the time under the "Audio Messages" section, you can define whether audio snippets are keeps for the standard 2 minutes then deleted, or kept forever (unfortunately, there is no middle ground). To change the length of time that video snippets are stored in the thread, change the setting under the "Video Messages" section. If you change the setting to "Forever", those audio and/or video snippets are retained as long as you don't delete the message thread.
The second method of holding on to these snippets for longer than 2 minutes is by using the "Keep" button. The "Keep" button does the same thing as the above method with one difference... it's ad-hoc. In other words, this is a great way to keep select audio or video snippets forever (as opposed to keeping them all forever).
If the recipient of one of your audio or video snippets decides to keep something you sent, you will be notified within the message window. Likewise, if you decide to keep something another person sent to you, that person will also be notified.