LIFESTYLE NEWS - WhatsApp could join competitors such as iMessage, Pushfor, Signal, Telegram and Wickr, which already have a “disappearing message” feature.
WABetaInfo has reported that the self-destruct feature is still in its alpha-stage development and as such won’t be available to all WhatsApp beta users just yet. It is currently being developed and tested by Facebook.
How will this new feature work?
The report says that a WhatsApp user will enable the disappearing messages option in group settings and can then set a time interval of between five seconds and an hour for the message to disappear.
When a user or member of a group reads the message, the timer will start running. Once the clock has run its time, the message will automatically disappear and be deleted from the chat.
WABetaInfo’s report also states that once a message has been removed in this way, “there will be no tracks available in the chat about deleted messages”. There is no information on whether the “deleted” messages will remain in the WhatsApp servers once they’ve been read. The speculation is that users will also be able to send pictures and videos in the same manner.
When will this feature appear on WhatsApp?
The feature is still in its beta phase, which means Facebook is still testing it out. There is no indication of when this will turn into a working function in the WhatsApp beta app. It is also not known whether the self-destructing feature will be available for private chats as well as group ones. In time, all these questions will be answered.
Will this improve the privacy of WhatsApp?
Privacy is one of the major concerns from users especially in an age where private messages, pictures and videos can get leaked to the public. WhatsApp has experienced hackers intercepting messages before and this has caused a huge concern amongst its users. Apps like Snapchat already have this feature so this is a step in the right direction for WhatsApp. With issues of privacy, things can never be fool-proof because any user can easily screengrab or copy a message but it does slightly improve WhatsApp’s privacy.