WhatsApp’s dev team has apparently taken a leaf out of Inspector Gadget’s book as it reportedly gears up to launch a new Disappearing Messages feature.
According to WABetaInfo, the in-beta feature will allow you to choose how long a message lasts before it is automatically deleted, in both private and group chats. You’ll be able to choose from preset timescales of 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month or 1 year.
A clock icon should then appear next to affected messages, signalling that they will not last forever.
Though we have been unable to replicate its screenshots in the beta version of the app, it claims the changes are visible in version 2.20.83/2.20.84, so it might be dependent on region or available to select users only.
Should the feature be available to you, you’ll be able to access disappearing messages by tapping on the recipient or group name at the top of a conversation, and scrolling down to Disappearing Messages, which should appear between Media Visbility and Encryption.
The move beefs up WhatsApp’s exisiting ability to delete sent messages, whereby you are able to delete messages provided they have not already been read by the recipient. It is also to be joined by an in-beta feature that lets you send self-destructing photos and video.