WhatsApp is making a big change to its feature for disappearing messages. Whatsapp owner Meta is modifying the disappearing messages feature to make it easy to use. The disappearing messages feature allows users to automatically set texts to disappear after a chosen time.
This feature was added by WhatsApp as a way to boost user privacy on the app and to allow users to remove records of any conversations that they might have on the app. The interface allows users to be in control of what chat conversations can stay in their chat box and what can automatically be removed.
WhatsApp is however currently trying out a new interface according to WABetaInfo. The new interface for the feature is being tested in the beta test version of the app.
The sneak preview of what the new settings page looks like has shown that the page reads: “For added privacy, new messages will disappear for everyone from the chat after the duration you select.” The page also shows that all new chats can have a default timer so all messages in a new chat can “begin with a disappearing message timer.”
The feature once turned on will be visible to those in your chat box as highlighted on the page “chat participants will you turned this on.”
The page showed that there are now two sections under the feature with one called Set For Your Account where the default timer is. This will let you pick a default timer for messages that you create in new chats.
The second section is called Set For Your Current Chats and will allow you to pick precise chats in the app where you want new messages to disappear. The current chats option is for already existing conversations.
The redesigning of the existing feature will now make it easy for you to set timers for current conversations and easier to set for new chats. Though no one can go back to unsend every other text in their chats, sadly.
But it’s a good thing that WhatsApp brought this feature to our phones so we are safe moving forward and can easily be rid of messages we view as private or inappropriate to remain in our chat box.
The newly designed interface is not yet available for general WhatsApp users but knowing that it is being tested in the beta, we can be assured it won’t be too long before it comes to our phones.
You can try out this feature and other new WhatsApp features that have not gone public yet by joining the beta. If you have considered doing that, here are some guidelines on how you can join:
How to get WhatsApp beta
To download and join WhatsApp beta on your smartphone, you should go to Google Play Store if you are using an Android phone and then search for WhatsApp.
- Scroll down the initial page until you see the part that says “Become a Beta Tester.” Then click on the “I’m In” icon and then tap “Join” to confirm your selection. After, you will have to simply wait for the update to the beta version of the app.
If you are an iPhone user and want to join WhatsApp beta on iOS remember it’s not as straightforward as it is for Android users. You will however need a TestFlight app to test the WhatsApp beta version and will require getting an invitation link from the developer. For more detailed guidelines on what you can do follow the guide from Apple here.
How to send disappearing messages on WhatsApp
If you are unsure of how you can use the current message disappearing feature on WhatsApp, here is a quick guide to activating the feature.
- Open WhatsApp on your mobile device and then go to Settings > Accounts > Privacy
- When there you will the Disappearing Messages feature which you must turn On using the toggle.
Then pick the time that you want the messages to disappear with options for 24 hours, 7 days, and 90 days available. After you select the option you will see that the timer does not “affect your existing chats” but the message timer can be used on “existing chats by selecting them.” The timer is off by default and will need to be turned on to start working.
When you go back to chats, a message will appear to confirm that you have turned on the Disappearing Messages setting.
If you have turned on the feature and want to enable it to exist chats, you will need to pick the chat and archive it first and then unarchive it to enable the feature on the current chat. This is the additional option to enable the feature to work on individual chats. To do this for individual chats you can do so by clicking on the settings of an individual account of a WhatsApp contact.
When you go into a specific chat and go to settings you will see the Disappearing Messages feature and you can choose the timer enabling you to automatically be rid of messages from this chat after the timer elapses.
While this all sounds cool, the system is not foolproof. While you may choose to set a timer so that messages can disappear after time goes by, the person on the other end can keep the conversation since they are alerted once the feature is turned on.
Someone can easily make screenshots of the conversation that you want to be deleted or record the chats making it impossible to delete that content from their devices using any official WhatsApp feature.
To stay safe, it’s better to keep embarrassing content on social media by not posting, to begin with, and remember the feature only works for messages sent after activating it and any forwarded chats will not disappear even after you activate the feature.