WhatsApp is bringing auto disappearing messages and it will be available for groups. The main reason behind the feature is to de-clutter messages in groups that nobody may read.
Options to automatically remove messages have been around for a while in Telegram secret chats, and earlier this year, we learned that WhatsApp might be working on similar functionality for its iOS and Android clients.
But as it turns out, the originally-called “Disappearing Messages” option would only make it to group chats in WhatsApp, at least at first.
Highlights of New WhatsApp Feature:
- WhatsApp ‘Delete Messages’ is coming soon for group chats.
- The option will offer preset time options for self-destructing messages on groups.
- The feature won’t make it to individual chats.
WhatsApp – Self Destruction Messages
This is what a recent discovery made by WABetaInfo appears to suggest, as the feature, which has also been renamed to “Delete messages,” is no longer available in individual chats, but only offered to group admins.
More specifically, group administrators can configure the automatic removal of the chat messages, most likely in an attempt to keep things clean and organized in conversations with a large number of participants. Furthermore, this could help save storage on the mobile device, especially if media files are often shared in a group.
Currently available in beta builds
For the time being, the new feature is available in beta builds of WhatsApp for Android and iOS, and there are no specifics as to when it could go live for everyone. Of course, other changes are also possible in the meantime, but for now, all signs seem to be pointing to automatic message removal coming to group chats exclusively. The existing implementation of this feature makes it possible only for administrators to enable and disable the automatic message removal feature.
The aforementioned source speculates that this feature could be used for individual conversations by creating a group chat with just one contact, albeit it goes without saying this isn’t necessarily the most convenient workaround.
In Telegram, which right now is one of WhatsApp’s main rivals, options to automatically delete messages are offered as part of secret chats, which offer enhanced privacy, such as disabled screenshot capturing.
This feature is still currently in beta version and not the stable version. Do note that this feature is different from the ‘Delete for Everyone’ feature that already exists for all chats. The ‘Delete for Everyone’ feature will still be available for all messages and users can still use it to delete a text before the receiver sees it.