WhatsApp has experimented with a’ Delete Messages ‘ feature that allows users to set and automatically disable a self-destructing timer for all of their chats.
Despite being one of the most popular apps out there, Facebook-owned WhatsApp tends to take its time rolling out key features that its rivals either promised long ago or anticipated faster than they actually launched.
The app got end-to-end encryption very late in its lifespan and was among the last major social networks to get support for the dark mode, a much sought-after feature that only recently arrived in 2020.
It appears that the app will soon receive another useful function in the form of self-destructive messages, something that the company has already tested with group chats and has now extended to include individual / private texts.
WABetaInfo states that WhatsApp beta for Android v2.20.84 contains a new, currently under development,’ Delete Messages ‘ function that will automatically remove messages in a chat according to a preset timer. Users switching on with this setting will also note a small clock icon next to the timestamp post.
The feature is under development but today we know that the Remove Messages feature will function for individual conversations, too, when WhatsApp launches the feature. When the user activates the feature, the bubble will display a clock icon, as this was shown in the image above.
While the implementation tends to be somewhat simple, considering that the timer applies to all chats instead of providing more granular control as rival apps do, it is nevertheless a welcome addition. It is also worth noting that Facebook’s own Messenger provides the same feature in a slightly different way by having users turn to’ Secret’ conversations and it remains to be seen whether WhatsApp further changes its own implementation before rolling this option out to the public.