WhatsApp users may soon be able to set their messages to self-destruct after a set period of time. The feature, which was first discovered by WABetaInfo, was recently released as a beta for the Android OS and supposedly leave no traces of the user’s messages.
So far, the self-destruct feature only has to countdown options: five seconds and one hour, and nothing in between. The setting can be within the Group settings and is listed as “Disappearing Messages”.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but WhatsApp isn’t the first messaging system think of such a feature. It’s rival, Telegram, already offers a similar feature with “Secret Chat”. Enabling messages to disappear from devices after the expiration of the set time.
Even Facebook’s Messenger app has a similar “secret conversation” feature. Allowing users to cause messages to self-destruct, as well as disable forwarding.
Though the screenshots provided are showing the feature for group chats, WABetaInfo also says that it’s likely that the feature will make its way over to private chats as well. Additionally, WhatsApp is also testing another feature, where group admins can restrict who is able to send messages to the group.
There’s still no indication as to when WhatsApp intends to roll out Disappearing Messages to its 1.5 billion users. Suffice to say, however, that when it does become available, it’ll no doubt be used extensively by users who constantly deal with sensitive information.