WhatsApp is clearly on a big push to improve things for its two billion users. Earlier this month, the Facebook-owned chat app rolled out support for dark mode on iOS and Android, which transforms the on-screen appearance and can also save a tiny bit of battery life. Now it seems fans of WhatsApp are in for another treat with the expected launch of self-destructing messages.
This rumoured feature isn’t anything new with the first murmurings about this change coming late last year. But now it seems we could be one step closer to this killer upgrade arriving on smartphones with the ever-reliable team at WaBetaInfo, which unearthed unannounced features in beta versions of the chat app, revealing that it’s in the works.
Posting a message on Twitter, WaBetaInfo said: “WhatsApp is working again on the new Delete Messages feature, that will automatically remove messages. New tests include individual chats too!”
Although not officially confirmed, it seems the new feature will allow users to set a time limit on how long they want a message to be available for. This will range from one hour to one year with the text message disappearing once the time limit has elapsed.
It’s thought it will be available in both group and individual chats with beta tests currently available for Android users. According to WaBetaInfo, this feature is under development and it will be available in future.
It’s unclear whether WhatsApp will allow users to set the same self-destruct timer on other types of messages – like photos, videos, or documents, which can all be sent within WhatsApp too.
The news of this update comes as another bonus extra has just arrived on iPhones. WhatsApp has re-engineered its in-app search capabilities to make finding the right text message, photo, video or file from your previous conversations much, much faster.
The new interface resembles the one introduced by Apple to its iMessage service in iOS 13, which debuted worldwide back in September.
Tapping on the search bar loads up several shortcuts to different media types – from photos, GIFs, weblinks, videos, documents, and audio files that have previously been sent within the app.
In its description of the new feature, WhatsApp states “New search options allow you to filter by author and content type – so you can easily find that photo from mom.”
Android users could face a bit of a wait for the new feature. Although dark mode rolled out at the same time on iOS and Android, there’s no sign of the new filter options in search on WhatsApp on Android.