How To: WhatsApp Betas Let You Send Self-Destructing WhatsApp Messages to Cover Your Tracks

WhatsApp Betas Let You Send Self-Destructing WhatsApp Messages to Cover Your Tracks

By default, WhatsApp chats are protected with end-to-end encryption, which means only the devices you send and receive messages to will be able to read your texts. But what if you want to go further? Well, soon, you'll be able to make sure nobody can read your messages after a certain period of time.

Since mid-2019, WhatsApp had been working on a feature where messages will self-destruct after a set amount of time. The option, dubbed "Disappearing Messages," was first reported by WABetaInfo. On Nov. 5, 2020, Disappearing Messages was finally released but does not work exactly as it did in the beta versions.

In the beta versions, the feature appeared exclusively for group chats. Based on screenshots from WABetaInfo, you could enable Disappearing Messages in a group chat's settings and choose to have messages disappear after five seconds or one hour. The version released to everyone applies to all chats, not just group chats, and is restricted to auto-erasing after seven days with no way to adjust the time. However, WhatsApp has stated that it's open to bringing back timing options.

Images via WABetaInfo

When WhatsApp is considering adding custom timing options to Disappearing Messages, we hope it goes beyond just the five seconds or one hour in the betas. Telegram offers a variety of expiration times, ranging from one to 15 seconds, 30 seconds, one minute, one hour, one day, or one week. So having something like that would be much more beneficial.

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Cover image by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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