WhatsApp is working on allowing users to self-destruct messages entirely quite like Snapchat self-destructing messages.
The latest beta version 2.20.83/2.20.84 for WhatsApp has a ‘Delete Messages’ option for private chats. A similar setting was added for group chats in previous betas. Now WhatsApp has expanded this functionality to personal conversations.
Right above an “Encryption” prompt, you can view the new option once you open a person’s profile. A pop-up opens once you click on it. It lets you set a time for automatic delete. The options available right now range from an hour to a year.
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As it gets activated, a clock icon next to the read receipts will mark messages set for self-destruction.
However, the issue is that the implementation is quite inferior in comparison to WhatsApp rivals like Telegram and Facebook Messengers. These apps enable users to create a separate, new chat for the sensitive conversation you would want to be short-lived intentionally.
At the moment the WhatsApp’s version of this feature is all-or-nothing and will tag all your new messages for self-destruction, lacking the granularity offered by other apps.