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WhatsApp borrows Snapchat-like feature; messages to now vanish after short time

WhatsApp features: The chat app users can set the time of expiry for the messages sent in group chats from the Group Settings menu

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In        Last Updated: October 3, 2019  | 12:25 IST
WhatsApp borrows Snapchat-like feature; messages to now vanish after short time
WhatsApp Disappearing Messages feature

WhatsApp is bringing new features to its users thick and fast. It is used by over a billion people and the Facebook-owned company is constantly releasing updates to stay ahead in the game. Facebook has brought in several new features over the last few years to its chat app but it still lacked one big feature that it rivals like Snapchat and Telegram had - Ephemeral or Disappearing Messages.

WhatsApp is finally working on new features that will be available in the next updates. As per the unofficial WhatsApp blog, WABetaInfo, the company is working on a new Disappearing Messages feature! The feature was first found in Snapchat, a multimedia messaging app. WhatsApp has already taken features like Status and the new Disappearing Messages should sound death knell for Snapchat that is already losing user base.

The new Disappearing Messages will attract more users to WhatsApp, especially teens who've moved away from the permanence of the Facebook profile timeline. The ephemeral messaging feature lets people be themselves and they don't have to worry about their past coming back to haunt or embarrass them. Snapchat ran with the idea to become the go-to messaging service for the younger generation.

To WhatsApp's credit, it has an 'Unsend' feature that lets users recall messages, photos and videos. However, there is a catch - the Unsend option only works for an hour after a message is sent, unlike the default transient nature of the messages on Snapchat where seen messages vanish once you close the chat window unless you save them. Facebook-owned Instagram already has disappearing ephemeral photo and video messages with conventional permanent text and image messages in the same one-on-one and group threads.

The new Disappearing feature is not yet available but it was spotted in the Android 2.19.275 beta version. However, as per the leaked screenshots on WABetaInfo, WhatsApp users can set the time of expiry for the messages sent in group chats from the Group Settings menu. At present, there are only two options, 5 seconds and 1 hour, after which the message will disappear from the chat window of all the participants in the group.

Edited By: Udit Verma

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ALso Read: Top 5 features WhatsApp should borrow from its rival Telegram

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