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WhatsApp beta tests disappearing messages for existing chats

WhatsApp for Android dark mode
(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp begins beta testing new disappearing messaging feature for existing chats.
  • The beta includes a menu, with the same message timers as before, but users can apply the disappearing message feature to all chats at once.
  • There is no set date yet for this feature to arrive publicly as it is moving into a beta phase.

WhatsApp released an update last year which saw users set timers for when their messages could disappear. The messaging app is now opening that feature for all existing conversations with a new beta update.

Whatsapp has been slowly making its way into the "disappearing" messages world like Snapchat (opens in new tab) or Signal (opens in new tab). But its version has never been quite as robust as it should be. The messaging platform looks to take a new stride in nailing the disappearing message feature. From WABetainfo (opens in new tab), this latest WhatsApp beta begins the test for an option "that lets us convert multiple existing conversations to disappearing chats in a future update."

A step toward easier functionality is something WhatsApp needs for its disappearing messages. With this new feature in beta testing, WhatsApp has a new menu for users to find with this new option, although it's oddly hidden behind a shortcut link.

A look into WhatsApp beta for existing chats to have disappearing messages.

(Image credit: WABetaInfo)

When WhatsApp came with its disappearing messages, things were cut and dry. You could really only flick the option on or off and the messages disappeared when they did. In the initial phase, messages defaulted to disappear after seven days. Last year, when WhatsApp came with another update, they allowed users to choose the duration's timer: 24 hours, seven days, 90 days, or off completely. Users now only had to turn on this option for each chat separately but it was also only for new chats.

WhatsApp seems to be getting the hint by not only testing a way for users to turn on the disappearing function for all chats at once but it'll now include existing ones from months ago. Seeing as this new feature is moving into its beta phase, as WABetaInfo informs, there is no set date for its release. WhatsApp is one of the best messaging apps for Android and they may be hoping to continue leading the charge with this feature in testing.

Nickolas Diaz