WhatsApp now testing self-destructing messages with individual chats

Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp may be working on quite a few major features. According to reports, WhatsApp is planning to roll out a Self-destructing feature for messages called ‘Delete Messages.’ Thanks to this feature, WhatsApp users will be able to decide for how long their messages will remain visible to the recipient.

WhatsApp is said to be working on this feature since at least October last year. Back then, WhatsApp was caught testing a feature called ‘Disappearing Messages’ in the WhatsApp Messenger for Android Beta version 2.19.275.

During the following month in November last year, the ‘Disappearing Messages’ feature made a reappearance in yet another beta version 2.19.348, only this time it was being called ‘Delete Messages.’

During the initial tests, it was clear that WhatsApp will keep the roll-out of ‘Disappearing Messages’ limited to Group chats. WhatsApp Groups have become a primary source to peddle fake news and spread rumors and hatred. As a result, WhatsApp is working on features to keep group conversations in control.

It was believed that the feature gives the group admins some additional controls over group conversations and only group admins would be able to activate the ‘Disappearing Messages’ feature for their particular group. However, WhatsApp now seems to have changed gears.

According to recent reports, WhatsApp is now planning to roll out these changes to individual chats. In the WhatsApp Messenger for Android beta version 2.20.83 and 2.20.84, WhatsApp has reintroduced the ‘Delete Messages’ feature for individual chats.

WABetaInfo has shared screenshots, which reveal that users can tweak settings for ‘Delete Messages’ in the same menu as options to customize other settings like mute notifications, media visibility.

WhatsApp testing self-destructing messages with individual chats
Credit: WABetaInfo

Once users tap the option ‘Delete Messages,’ WhatsApp users will be required to choose from the set of options: 1 hour, 1 week, 1 month, 1 year, etc. Users can also keep the feature permanently disabled if they want. Depending on the setting, WhatsApp will properly indicate their ephemeral nature alongside messages. 

This feature is under development and it will be available for users in the future.

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