Have you ever regretted sending a text and wished you could take it back?
The mobile text and call service WhatsApp Messenger is in the process of making this a reality, according to a report from tech news site The Verge.
The report acknowledged that WhatsApp Beta Info discovered this new feature in version 2.19.275 of the free Android app and that it may only be available for some users. With this update, users will have the opportunity to “self-destruct” a message after a set period of time.
WhatsApp isn’t the first platform to dabble in disappearing messages. Popular apps like Snapchat and Telegram have been implementing the method for years among countless others that are available in iOS and Android app stores. Even Instagram allows users to “unsend” Direct Messages when deemed necessary.
Aside from risqué messages that users don’t want floating around for long, having a self-destruct feature on WhatsApp helps users protect sensitive information that they don’t want others to have permanent access to. One such example could involve sending an ID number for employment.
The Verge also noted that Google’s Gmail implemented a similar feature known as ‘Confidential Mode’ last year for helping business professionals.
WhatsApp’s test has a basic set of options so far, according to WABetaInfo, and will probably look different when it is rolled out to the masses. So far, there are only two self-destruct options, one that deletes a message in five seconds and the other that deletes a message in an hour. Additionally, the feature appears to only be accessible through group chats.
WhatsApp, which was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion in 2014, remains a top performer based on numbers from industry news website Business of Apps. In a data visualization that was created to demonstrate which social apps have the most users in 2018, WhatsApp came in at second place with 1.5 billion users while Facebook reigned as king with 2.13 billion app users.
Despite being a free app for most of its lifecycle, WhatsApp started to roll out a payment feature for select users in India during the first half of 2018. By July 2019, WhatsApp announced that it is expanding the system throughout the rest of India later this year.