Get ready, WhatsApp is testing disappearing messages

WhatsApp is testing disappearing messages that will self-destruct after they’re received.

The aim of this feature is to protect the confidentiality of conversations allowing messages to be sent but allowing the record that remains of them to be purged.

Once switched on, users will be able to set a time limit for the messages. That means they’ll send it as normal, but then they’ll be deleted, stopping people from copying it or screen gabbing it.

For now, this feature is available in the beta version of the Android app. Yet features from the beta periodically switch to the main version of the app.

It would put WhatsApp in line with a range of other chat apps, including Gmail, Telegram and Facebook Messenger.

The functionality is currently working in a strange way, according to the WABetaInfo blog, which first spotted the changes. It appears to be still under development, the site noted.

At the moment, messages can only be set to delete after five seconds or an hour. These can also only be used in group chats, and each message in those group chats will be removed as part of the new functionality.

It’s not clear when all users of WhatsApp will receive the disappearing messages. It is also likely that the organization might opt out of or fundamentally change the update.