The messaging giant is reportedly testing a self-destructing message feature. This developing feature will allow users set a time period after which their messages will disappear into thin air. This is according to a reputable tipster who spotted the feature combing through the code of a beta version of the app. The disappearing message feature first appeared in version 2.19.275 of the Android app, but WABetaInfo, who first discovered it, notes that it might not be available to everyone on the beta just yet.
This could be useful to anyone who feels like sending sensitive information to someone but wouldn’t want them to have it permanently. This won’t be the first of its kind as we’ve seen such from Snapchat. Gmail also added the feature in its redesign last year.
Similarly, telegram offers a “secret chat” feature wherein users can engage with each other and their messages disappear from their devices after a set amount of time. Telegram says it does not store the text on its servers and restricts users from forwarding the messages, or take a screenshot of the conversation, to ensure there is “no trail” of the texts.
Right now the disappearing message feature doesn’t look like its ready to launch but that could come pretty soon according to WABetaInfo. Needless to say that Snapchat, Telegram and Gmail all have a better implementation of this feature. As it is currently, WhatsApp only lets you set the messages to be deleted after either 5 seconds or an hour (No in-between). Also, it is currently only available for group chats but we could see that change before it rolls out with an official update.
However, it is still unclear if and when WhatsApp intends to extend this feature to all its users.