A few months ago we wrote about disappearing/self-destructing messages which at the time were a feature being rolled out to certain beta testers. WhatsApp Beta Info recently leaked more details regarding the feature and how it will be coming to individual chats as well.
Initially, the feature was thought to be useful for keeping your storage tidy by deleting group messages after a certain period at which the messages in that chat become redundant.
Beyond that, it also seemed ideal for group chats in which participants wanted to share sensitive information with an expiry date in order to avoid future abuse of that information.
The feature is now being worked on for regular chats and it still serves a similar purpose it will in the group chats. Back when it was first leaked it didn’t make much sense that WhatsApp would only bring it to group chats and not to regular chats and either WhatsApp was already working on it or they took notes after a number of people questioned the decision not to have it in all conversations.
The feature will allow users to set a timer after which chat/group participants they were conversing with can no longer see their messages. The timer is a minimum of 1 hour and a maximum of 1 year.
Hopefully, WhatsApp will also make it so that if the person you’re chatting with takes a screenshot of your conversation before its deleted you’re notified otherwise the feature will only be useful as a storage management solution.