WhatsApp's new privacy update could let you send self-destructing messages

4 October 2019, 13:28

WhatsApp are trialling a brand new feature
WhatsApp are trialling a brand new feature. Picture: PA Images/Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

WhatsApp is reportedly developing a new feature that will let you get rid of your messages after you’ve sent them.

Taking inspiration from Snapchat and Instagram, WhatsApp's auto-deleting post will allow users to set a time limit for how long their messages are visible.

You’ll be able to choose whether posts vanish in five seconds or a minute, but no time in between, and can switch the feature on or off in the settings section.

This could be perfect for those of you who don’t want anyone snooping on their messages, even if they know the passcode to your phone.

According to WAbetaInfo, WhatsApp is testing the feature - called "Disappearing messages - on a small group of users and will likely push it out at a later date.

Your WhatsApp messages may now delete themselves
Your WhatsApp messages may now delete themselves. Picture: PA Images

The site said: "As the name suggests, any message eligible to be “disappeared”, will be automatically deleted from the chat.”

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WAbetaInfo - which trawls the code of early versions of WhatsApp to find upcoming features - said it only works in group chats for now, but should be available in private conversations.

But users shouldn’t get their hopes up too much, because it is in the early stages of development and WhatsApp may still decide to bin it last minute.

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Snapchat is currently designed to automatically delete all Snaps after they’ve been viewed and all messages sent in one-to-one Chat after both Snapchatters have opened and left the Chat.

Meanwhile on Instagram you can also send a disappearing photo or video either as a group or individual message.

After someone opens a disappearing photo or video you've sent them, the message is no longer visible in their inbox unless you've allowed a replay of your message.

This comes after it was announced in August that Instagram and WhatsApp would be changing their names for the first time.

The Facebook-owned apps will be called 'Instagram from Facebook' and 'WhatsApp from Facebook’.

The social media company - owned by Mark Zuckerberg - bought Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp two years later in 2014.

The new ‘from Facebook’ element will show up in the Apple App Store and the Google Play store and will also be clear on the app itself.

Facebook said in a statement: "We want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook."