WhatsApp is testing additional controls for its disappearing messages

WhatsApp logo
WhatsApp logo (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / iMore)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp continues to improve its disappearing messages feature.
  • New controls have been added to the latest beta build that allow users to set when a message will disappear.

Messaging platform WhatsApp continues to work towards improving its disappearing messages feature with a new option set to allow people to choose exactly when those messages will be wiped out.

According to WhatsApp watchers WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is now testing the ability for users to select from multiple options, giving them the power to decide how long a message will live before being deleted. In its current form, the beta allows for options including 24 hours, seven days, and 90 days.

The report also notes that WhatsApp will allow users to set a default timer, ensuring all future messages disappear after a set period of time.

Whatsapp Beta Disappearing Messages Screenshot

Whatsapp Beta Disappearing Messages Screenshot (Image credit: WABetaInfo)

You can also set a default message timer for new chats. What does it mean? If you enable "Default Message Timer" within WhatsApp Privacy Settings, all new chats will start with the disappearing messages option enabled for the selected duration. Note that, when you set the default message timer, your existing chats and new groups won't be started with the default timer.

It isn't yet clear when WhatsApp will roll its disappearing message improvements out to the masses and its current TestFlight beta is full. Let's hope that we all get in on the act sooner rather than later — better disappearing message controls could help make WhatsApp one of the best iPhone apps for people who want to be able to send messages that don't hang around forever.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.