WhatsApp is introducing the disappearing messages functionality for Android users now and is currently rolling out the feature for Beta users.
Over the last few years, WhatsApp has evolved from merely being an instant messaging application to doing what it does best, and that is being a full-fledged communications solutions. Under Facebook’s leadership, the favourite messaging app of the world has undergone many changes owing to the constant stream of updates. There have been new features on WhatsApp like Status, unsend, forwarded tag, forward limit and more which enhance the user experience, improve privacy and security and protect the users from fake news. But, there is one more functionality which has been in the making for WhatsApp users since quite a while now, and that is the disappearing messages. There is no dearth of applications out there now which come with the disappearing messages functionality, and Snapchat seems to be the favourite choice among the users. But, soon, WhatsApp might also get disappearing messages as soon as this new update reaches the users.
If you are unaware about what disappearing messages mean, here is a hint. Unlike normal messages which the users expect to stay forever until they are deleted or forgotten, the disappearing messages are sent with a time limit after which they are automatically deleted from the recipients’ inbox. This is similar to the feature which Gmail has introduced in its inbox, where the users can set a self destruct timer after which the email gets deleted from the user’s inbox. Similarly, with the disappearing messages feature, users will be able to send messages with a time limit, after which the recipient won’t be able to access the message anymore. Notably, WhatsApp’s competitor, Telegram, which is another popular messaging app, also comes with a similar feature known as Secret Chat, but it is a little different.
In Telegram, the users who chat via Secret Chat feature send messages which all come with a self destruct timer. With the Secret Chat, all the texts that a user sends and receives get deleted within the set time limit. WhatsApp’s new feature is expected to be in these lines only, wherein the message will get deleted after the recipient has read it.
The blog updating news about WhatsApp, WABetaInfo has informed that for some users, WhatsApp has started seeding this update already which brings this feature onboard the application. The update is being pushed to the users via the Google Play Beta Program version 2.19.275. This also means that the feature is only live for Android users only currently. However, you can expect some time before this feature starts reaching to the other beta users and it could be a few weeks before it reaches the stable version of WhatsApp as it currently remains in the alpha stages of development.
As for the features that we know about this new update, it is known that disappearing messages was first available in group chats only. The group admins will be able to toggle and turn on or off this feature. But, this could change as the feature is rolled out a wider range of users. Later, it was updated that the disappearing messages feature would also show up for private chats as well. There are two options in the self destruct timer, which include 5 seconds and 1 hour, users would be able to choose between the two to decide when their messages disappear. The disappearing message functionality would be available in WhatsApp Web as well, but there is no news about its availability on iOS.