The vanishing message timers for existing chats have made it to WhatsApp’s beta channel
Plenty of apps let you send disappearing messages, and while there are a lot of reasons you might be interested in such ephemeral expressions, not all apps give users the same sort of control over how long these messages last, or even which discussions this mode applies to. Back in May we saw WhatsApp working on a new option for converting existing chats to this timed system — and doing so in bulk, if you so choose. Now with the app’s latest beta, that feature is finally starting to arrive for some testers.
WhatsApp v220.127.116.11 beta introduces the ability to set multiple existing chats to disappear, with your default settings. Prior to this, the settings page only included radio buttons that let you set how long before messages were deleted for all new chats, but with this update, users can now apply the same timer to existing chats of their choice.
It might be nice if the menu that lets you do this wasn’t hidden behind such a tiny shortcut link — a prominent button would be lovely — but to be fair, WhatsApp is probably right in thinking this isn’t a setting you’ll need to engage with all that often. Not all beta testers on this release are seeing the option right now, so it’s arriving via a server-side switch, but once WhatsApp completes enough testing, hopefully a wider rollout should follow.