WhatsApp enhances disappearing messages feature in latest beta update

Last month, we learned that WhatsApp was looking to join the likes of Snapchat and Telegram in offering its over 1.5 billion users the ability to share self-destructing messages.

The feature, then identified as Disappearing Messages, has been renamed to Delete Messages in the latest beta build of the application (version 2.19.348) which is available to those enrolled in the app’s beta programme.

As is the case with features that WhatsApp is testing away from the public eye, Delete Messages are not directly accessible even to those who are part of the beta. However, WhatsApp watcher WABetaInfo managed to learn a few things about what WhatsApp’s upcoming feature may end up being.

Apparently, disappearing messages won’t be limited to individual private chats alone.

Group members will also be able to share messages that auto-delete after a set time if the group admins turn on the Delete Messages feature for their groups.

At the individual level, users will be able to toggle Delete Messages on and off for every chat they are having by simply navigating to Contact Info. In groups, admins will be able to do this from the group settings.

WhatsApp users have had no easy means of enhancing their privacy with the only option available to them being the ability to delete chats for all parties involved within a 1-hour window.

WhatsApp has been on a roll recently announcing new features meant to make the app, which now features prominent branding reminding users that it is owned by Facebook, more appealing to its huge user base in the wake of increased competition from rivals as well as increased scrutiny as mother company Facebook grapples with issues of user privacy.

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Over the last few weeks, WhatsApp has provided Android users with more privacy controls by letting them authenticate access to their chats with biometrics. WhatsApp has also rolled out to all its users the much-needed controls when it comes to what is perhaps one of its biggest features outside of photo-sharing: group messaging.

There is no indication if this update has fixed the battery drain complaints that have cropped up recently.

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