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WhatsApp Is Going To Let You Send Self-Destructing Messages

WhatsApp Is Going To Let You Send Self-Destructing Messages

The new feature will allow you to turn on messages that destruct in five seconds or one hour.

Ciara Sheppard

Ciara Sheppard

WhatsApp is introducing a new feature to quell text regret once and for all: self-destructing messages.


The evolution of instant messaging is truly a double-edged sword. On one hand, we no longer have to pick up the phone, write a letter or wait days to meet someone to get them a message, as our parents had to. This means we can act more on impulse, fostering more honest relationships in the long run.

On the other, we can type out a message on WhatsApp, Facebook or iMessage and hit send in mere seconds. Often we don't consider the consequences and, if sent in the early hours, wake up with gut-wrenching embarrassment.

Now, WhatsApp's new feature means that messages sent will auto-delete after a certain amount of time.

According to reliable technology website WABetaInfo, the feature will be available in group chats by enabling the "disappearing messages" feature in the chat's 'Group info'.


After enabling this option, users will be able to select the message expiration time, which currently only has two options: five seconds and one hour.


The former works well for particularly risky realtime conversations, while the one hour setting might be preferred as a more 'every day' option for this who are prone to sending high-risk messages.


If enabled, the message will simply disappear with no trace or annoying telltale 'this message was deleted' notice. God we hate those.

It's not yet clear if disappearing messages will work for one-to-one chats too, though that would be nice.

Encouragingly, WABetaInfo say "we really think that it will be available for private chats too."

"The feature is in an alpha-stage of development: it means that WhatsApp is just starting to work on it, and no ETA is available to know when the feature will be available for everyone," they add.

"Be sure that WhatsApp is actively working on the feature, in order to make it perfectly work for you.


Auto-deleting messages were first popularised on Snapchat, and were later brought to Instagram.

WhatsApp already had a deleting message feature, though as we mention, it leaves a highly-incriminating 'this message was deleted' note in its place, which often leads to more questions than if the message had just been left.

We like the sound of this feature already.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Life, tech, Technology