Skip to main content

WhatsApp may soon let you send disappearing messages in private chats

WhatsApp may, at long last, add a feature most of its rivals have been offering for ages. The Facebook-owned messaging service is reportedly trialing a new option that will let you send self-destructing messages in private conversations.

Spotted by WABetaInfo, which reverse-engineers WhatsApp clients to unearth unannounced functions, the messaging app’s latest Android beta comes with a hidden “Delete messages” setting. It allows you to set a blanket expiration timer for all of your messages in a one-on-one personal chat. Once activated, each of your sent messages in that conversation will vanish some time after the recipient has read it. You can have them gone as quickly as an hour or up to a year.

Since the new option applies to every message of a chat, it’s unclear how WhatsApp plans to promote it. Most of its competitors such as Telegram offer the ability to fire up separate “secret” ephemeral chats that don’t affect your existing conversations with a contact. WhatsApp’s implementation, at least in its current early-stage form, also lacks a way to share messages that delete immediately after the other person has read or viewed it — similar to what its sister platforms such as Instagram already offer.

In addition to private chats, WhatsApp is expected to bring this toggle for groups, too. However, we don’t know when it will roll out to the masses. Since it’s not even yet turned on for public beta users, it’s likely that the new update will take a minimum month or two before becoming broadly available. WABetaInfo didn’t comment on whether WhatsApp is testing it for its iOS clients as well.

To be first in line to try it out, you can sign up for the Android beta channel by heading over to this link. The iOS TestFlight channel for WhatsApp generally tends to be full. Although you can keep an eye on this page to know when new slots open up.

Other than self-destructing messages for private conversations, WhatsApp is also testing password-protected chat backups. Plus, the messaging platform recently publicly rolled out a dark theme for its Android and iOS apps.

Shubham Agarwal
Shubham Agarwal is a freelance technology journalist from Ahmedabad, India. His work has previously appeared in Firstpost…
You can finally move your WhatsApp chats from Android to iOS
WhatsApp and Telegram app icons.

Moving WhatsApp chats from Android to iOS has been a painful task for years. But not anymore, as Apple and WhatsApp have made the process a whole lot easier. Starting today, Apple is adding a feature that allows you to move chats between the two platforms. The feature is a part of Apple’s existing “Move to iOS” Android application. It’s worth noting that the feature is currently available for beta users only, so non-beta users might have to wait for a week or two as it's rolled out in phases.

This is a big move since 2 million people use WhatsApp and, until now, there wasn’t an official method to move conversations between Android and iOS. There have been third-party solutions here and there, but nothing officially backed by Apple or WhatsApp. With the feature becoming available, users will be able to move their chats swiftly from Android to iOS.

Read more
Twitter Circle is coming soon. Here’s what you need to know
A Twitter icon on a blue background on a smartphone's screen, all on a white background.

Instead of just live tweeting their thoughts to everyone all at once, more Twitter users are now able to set some tweets to only be visible to specific people.

While Twitter announced that it began testing its Twitter Circle feature earlier this month, it appears that the social media platform has now expanded its test to more users. This past weekend, Android Police reported that the feature is now live for more users and shared a series of screenshots showing how Twitter Circle will appear. Twitter Circle is still not available for everyone, however, despite the expanded rollout.

Read more
How to make a GIF from a YouTube video
woman sitting and using laptop

Sometimes, whether you're chatting with friends or posting on social media, words just aren't enough -- you need a GIF to fully convey your feelings. If there's a moment from a YouTube video that you want to snip into a GIF, the good news is that you don't need complex software to so it. There are now a bunch of ways to make a GIF from a YouTube video right in your browser.

If you want to use desktop software like Photoshop to make a GIF, then you'll need to download the YouTube video first before you can start making a GIF. However, if you don't want to go through that bother then there are several ways you can make a GIF right in your browser, without the need to download anything. That's ideal if you're working with a low-specced laptop or on a phone, as all the processing to make the GIF is done in the cloud rather than on your machine. With these options you can make quick and fun GIFs from YouTube videos in just a few minutes.
Use GIFs.com for great customization
Step 1: Find the YouTube video that you want to turn into a GIF (perhaps a NASA archive?) and copy its URL.

Read more