What you need to know
- WhatsApp has been spotted working on a 90-day option for ephemeral messages.
- The new capability will sit alongside the app's existing message expiry option.
- It's expected to launch on the beta channel first before going live for everyone.
WhatsApp appears to be heavily invested in ephemeral chat over the past several months. After introducing a feature last year that makes messages disappear after seven days, it has now been spotted working on expanding that capability.
First spotted by the folks over at WABetaInfo, the Facebook-owned service seems to be developing a new option that will allow you to set your message to disappear after 90 days. Evidence of the new feature has been spotted in the latest WhatsApp beta update (v220.127.116.11). The feature isn't live at the moment, although it's expected to launch on the beta channel in the future.
When it rolls out, the 90-day option may sit alongside the current seven-day message expiry option and presumably a new 24-hour time limit that WhatsApp is apparently working on as well. The latter was first uncovered in April, although it's still unclear when it will make its way to everyone.
The new and upcoming features mark Facebook's growing effort to address various privacy concerns that have arguably eroded people's trust in the company. As a part of that effort, the social media giant rolled out the "View Once" disappearing photos and videos option to users earlier this month, putting it on par with other social messaging apps like Snapchat and Instagram.
While bringing self-destructing messages to one of the best messaging apps for Android offers a practical solution to keep things private, it doesn't hurt to avoid sending highly sensitive messages and media to people you don't trust.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.