Option for WhatsApp messages to “self-destruct” after being read ready for launch

WhatsApp has launched a feature that allows the deletion of any message already sent, useful for those who want to send confidential information on WhatsApp without the risk of someone else finding out the content of the discussion by searching the message history.

Originally called Disappearing Messages, the functionality has since received some tweaks and a new name – Delete Messages.

Specifically, the feature allows messages to be sent and deleted on demand, within two days of their initial publication. The option is available for messages shared in one-to-one discussion sessions as well as those sent in discussion groups, and administrators can decide to delete inconvenient messages without asking for the consent of discussion participants. When checked under Contact Info or Group Settings (by discussion group administrators only), the Delete Messages option will ensure that all messages that exceed the chosen expiration date are removed from the conversation history.

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Basically, the functionality works in two ways, with chat group administrators being able to set automatic deletion of messages after a certain time interval. The second option is user-initiated deletion, which remains available for up to two days after the original message was sent.

Also compatible with the Dark Theme interface, the functionality is not yet available to all users, but recent enhancements suggest the official debut is near.

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