By Jasper Hamill for Metro
We’re all now wearyingly familiar with the concept that messages sent in private can be published publically and used to ruin our lives. So we’re glad to say that WhatsApp is about to give us a vital survival tool to help us through this age of cancel culture and social media mob justice.
It’s reportedly on the verge of rolling out ‘deleting messages’ which disappear after a short space of time. This means you can make off-colour jokes without fearing they will get into the hands of bullies and be used to destroy your career or get you kicked out of university.
The concept of an auto-deleting post was made famous by Snapchat, which prompted a moral panic stoked by grown-ups who were concerned young people were using the app to send nudes. Then Facebook introduced the feature in Instagram and now it’s about to grant WhatsApp fans the same superpower.
The reliable website WABetaInfo has claimed the feature is on the way and is now very close to release.
You’ll be able to choose whether posts vanish in one hour, day, week, month or year. The feature was originally called ‘disappearing messages’ but has now been renamed ‘deleting messages’.
It will work in group chats and probably one-on-one conversations as well. When these new type of messages are introduced, a new option will be introduced in group settings and the contact info sections which will allow users to switch them on and off.
WhatsApp has launched a new privacy feature which will stop you being pulled into group chats you don’t want to be a part of. The feature was rolled out to a limited number of people earlier this year but has now been officially released to all users. You can now choose who can add you to groups, letting you block dodgy people or prevent annoying friends from adding you.
WhatsApp is beefing up its privacy protections (Image: Getty) This might sound like a frivolous feature, but in fact it’s a great privacy tool because people in groups can see each other’s phone numbers.
If you can take control of who adds you into these chats, then you have an extra tool to protect your identity and make sure strange or scammy people don’t contact you as well as protecting yourself from bullies.
When you’ve updated the app, just open up settings and scroll to ‘account’, followed by ‘privacy’ and then ‘groups’. You will be able to choose who’s allowed to add you to groups, with three options available.
Select ‘everyone’ and you’re wide open whilst choosing ‘my contacts’ means only friends will be able to add you. The early version of the update allowed you to also choose ‘nobody’, which locked your account down entirely. This has now been replaced by ‘My Contacts Except’, which will let you allow only certain contacts to add you to a group.