WhatsApp may bring self-destructing messages to group chats

Here’s to getting fewer messages that don’t spark joy.

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Last month, reports surfaced suggesting WhatsApp was testing self-destructing messages in its Android App. Now a newer report from Firstpost’s Tech2 suggests the feature will only come to group chats and will only be accessible to group admins.

Timed auto-vanishing messages are already available from WhatsApp rival Telegram, both for group chats and individual ones, and they’re part of the fundamental design of Snapchat, as well as Instagram and Facebook’s Stories. They’re not, however, available in iMessage or SMS/RCS.

Facebook says it wants to boost privacy — Bringing vanishing messages to WhatsApp (and, eventually) Facebook Messenger would make sense given the social media behemoth’s newfound enthusiasm for privacy. Between the Cambridge Analytica debacle and calls to break it up (and other big tech companies like it), it’s little wonder the company is talking up privacy.

The Marie Kondo method for groups — However, rather than widening privacy protection options, it looks like the move to bring disappearing messages to WhatsApp is initially aimed at letting group admins tidy up their groups. The news follows recent changes that let users choose who can add them to groups. Look, in the age of attention scarcity, anything that reduces the number of instant messages we have to contend with gets a thumbs up from us.