Update: WhatsApp now lets you enable disappearing messages by default across all chats for all users.
WhatsApp is planning to launch an option to let users force messages to disappear after 24-hours. That’s according to WABetaInfo (opens in new tab), which reports the messaging app is working on a shorter auto-delete time window, building upon a similar feature launched last year that saw the option to vanish messages after seven days.
Despite the feature being welcomed back then, the deletion window was commonly perceived to be too wide. The new leak suggests that the messaging platform is bringing its service more in line with the likes of Telegram, which already offers auto-deleting messages after 24-hours.
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WABetaInfo posted a screenshot of the new feature in the iOS version of the app, with the news strengthening speculation that the feature is inbound for both iOS and Android.
The seven-day message deletion option will remain, but there’s no word yet on whether the new setting will extend for group moderators.
News of the shorter time window will be appreciated by the privacy-conscious user, trimming the duration in which sensitive info can be shared and then forced to disappear.
Signal, like Telegram, already has an auto-delete option for messages, including the ability to vanish messages after only five seconds. That's a gargantuan difference compared to WhatsApp's existing seven-day window.
The feature is still in its testing phase. But WABetaInfo adds that because of its appearance in a working UI, it expects the feature could only be “a couple of months away from landing in a beta build.”
As the world of instant messaging gets ever more competitive, it's no surprise that Facebook is building out the capabilities of WhatsApp. And it looks like more upgrades are on the horizon.