Whatsapp Group Message on iPhone XSource: Luke Filipowicz/iMore

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp is testing a new feature that is aimed at the privacy-conscious.
  • Users will be able to configure the app so messages disappear once read.

WhatsApp is testing a new feature that will see messages disappear in an attempt to help ease privacy concerns surrounding the platform.

As reported by WABetaInfo, the feature is currently being tested with those on the WhatsApp TestFlight, with a toggle enabling all future chats to have Disappearing Mode enabled by default.

Whatsapp Disappearing Mode ScreenshotSource: WABetaInfo

If you love privacy, disappearing messages is the feature for you. You can enable it within Contact Info and Group Info, but it can happen that you have to manually enable it when a contact starts a new chat with you: for this reason WhatsApp is now developing a new option in WhatsApp Settings > Privacy that will automatically turn on disappearing messages in new chats!

While the report doesn't specifically say that messages will be deleted once read, that's the most logical use for Disappearing Mode and it most closely matches similar features offered by other apps.

As you can read in the screenshot, when the user enables Disappearing Mode, new chats will begin with disappearing messages on. WhatsApp rarely adds new privacy settings, and we hope to see more in this section the next weeks.

There is no telling when this feature will be made available to the world at large, but it's one that a ton of people will no doubt welcome once it does make an appearance.

WhatsApp is hugely popular around the globe thanks to the way it offers encrypted messages. Its ownership by Facebook does make some people uneasy for obvious reasons, however.