WhatsApp tries messages that disappear. The function was presented as a beta at version 2.19.275 of the Android app and was found by the WABetaInfo. In the beta, messages that are disappeared only are accessible in group chats and they can be self-destructing in five seconds or an hour.
While the function is not yet accessible, it can be helpful for anybody to send sensitive information. Telegram has begun to send disappearing messages, so Facebook is playing catch-up in this situation.
WhatsApp has been ramping up its security and privacy characteristics. Encryption is now being integrated in, and last year, WhatsApp expanded the moment that users had unsend the messages to one hour, eight minutes, and 16 seconds. That was an enhancement over the seven minutes that users had before, but it was short of the 48 hours that Telegram users had to delete their messages. Facebook provides users 10 minutes to unsend the unread messages.
There’s a good chance that the disappearing message feature will change a bit before it’s publicly available to all users of WhatsApp, and it’s hard to tell when that’s going to happen. WhatsApp is also testing features to curb the spread of fake news. We’ll see if those changes are enough to get people to trust the messaging app, even with their Facebook ties.