WhatsApp is working on a new version of its “disappearing messages” feature, which would see texts vanish immediately after being read.
While the current version of the feature enables users to set messages to disappear after 24 hours, 7 days or 90 days, that may soon change.
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According to WABetaInfo, the new feature in testing will ensure the message disappears for the sender and the recipient as soon as that double blue tick arrives to show it has been read.
Currently, WhatsApp lets users set photos and videos to view once, following in the footsteps of Snapchat. The idea is to allow for sending more sensitive information. You can’t forward the image and you can’t take a screenshot or a screen recording of the media either. One would assume that when WhatsApp rolls out this feature to encompass text messages, the same principle would apply.
In the test screenshots posted by WABetaInfo, recipients will see a “text expired” notification when it has been read once. “This text has expired, please ask insert name to resend it,” the message reads.
The screenshot also features a lock within the green send icon, which will signify the text being a view-once message. It could be great if you’re looking to get something a little bit controversial off your chest without a digital paper trail, for instance.
At the moment, the workaround is to “delete for everyone”, but there’s nothing stopping a screenshot or a forward in the interim, beyond the trust between the sender and the recipient.
If WhatsApp clears this up, it could be a handy addition for its users.