Disappearing messages coming to WhatsApp chats

New information regarding WhatsApp’s upcoming “Delete Messages” feature has been revealed in a beta update for the Android version of the messaging app.

WABetaInfo reported that the latest version of the WhatsApp beta app includes code which shows that the ability to delete messages after a pre-determined period will be available for individual chats as well as group chats.

The feature was first discovered by WABetaInfo in October 2019 and has undergone a number of changes throughout its development.

Previous information suggested that the ability to automatically delete messages after a preset time would only be available for group chats, but it has since been added to individual chats in the latest beta version of the app.

How it works

When the Delete Messages feature is turned on for a chat, all messages sent by participants will be removed after a pre-defined interval.

Users will be able to toggle this setting on or off for each chat via the contact info and group settings respectively.

Only administrators will be able to enable this feature for groups, however.

When Delete Messages is enabled, a small clock will appear in the corner of chat bubbles to indicate that they will be deleted after a preset period.

Once it is available, the Delete Messages feature will allow users to select the following time delays until messages are automatically deleted:

  • Off
  • 1 hour
  • 1 day
  • 1 week
  • 1 month
  • 1 year

It is unclear when this new functionality will roll out to users, and the feature is not currently being tested on iOS.

WhatsApp has also been bringing new functionality to the public versions of its Android and iOS apps, the most recent of which is a new dark mode feature.

Users of Android 10 and iOS 13 can implement dark mode by enabling it in their system settings.

Those who are on Android 9 and below can do so within WhatsApp itself by navigating to WhatsApp Settings > Chats > Theme > and then selecting Dark.

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Disappearing messages coming to WhatsApp chats