WhatsApp testing shorter self-destruct timer for disappearing messages

WhatsApp is working on a feature that will allow users to automatically delete sent messages faster than currently allowed.

This is according to a recent tweet from WABetaInfo, which is well known for uncovering the latest updates and features within early versions of the popular chat app.

The site has claimed that WhatsApp is testing the ability to set sent messages to disappear after 24 hours.

WhatsApp started rolling out its disappearing messages feature back in November 2020.

The move was seen as WhatsApp taking a cue from rival Telegram, which had been offering automatic deletion of messages in its Secret Chats feature since 2013.

The latter also recently rolled this capability out to individual and group chats across the app. Another alternative chat app Signal has offered auto-deleting messages since 2016.

Telegram lets users choose between 24 hours and 7 days, whereas Signal lets you set a self-destruct timer anywhere from 5 seconds to 7 days.

WhatsApp’s feature currently only allows for the deletion of a message from the sender and receiver’s chat history a week after a message is sent.

To enable the current seven-day disappearing messages on WhatsApp, users must do the following:

  • Tap the contact name.
  • Select “Disappearing messages”
  • If prompted, hit “Continue”
  • Choose “On”.

It is not clear when WhatsApp plans to roll out the 24-hour disappearing messages option.

Voice and video calls on WhatsApp Desktop

WhatsApp last week also officially launched voice and video calling for its desktop-based app on Windows PC and Mac.

WhatsApp said that taking and making calls on a bigger screen will make it easier to work with colleagues, see family members more clearly on a bigger canvas, or free up the user’s hands while moving around a room and talking.

Desktop calling on WhatsApp will at first only support one-to-one calls, with group calls to be added in the future.

The update comes on the back of claims from the company that it had observed a significant increase in people calling one another on its mobile platform over the last year.

Now read: South African WhatsApp users cannot be forced to accept new privacy policy – Regulator

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WhatsApp testing shorter self-destruct timer for disappearing messages