WhatsApp has been spotted developing a feature that would help users reclaim precious storage space on their smartphones. The instant messaging app is working on a feature that will allow users to set an expiration date for group chats. The latest beta version of WhatsApp for iOS update contains references to this upcoming feature, but the Meta-owned messaging service is yet to officially announce plans to roll out the feature.
The feature, dubbed ‘Expiring Groups' will enable users to set a date for their group to expire. Users can choose to delete the group within a day, a week, or even set a custom date, for WhatsApp groups to go defunct, according to report by feature tracker WABetaInfo.
In a screenshot of the feature shared by WABetaInfo, a group chat's settings section is shown to include a new Expiring Groups setting that will let users pick from the three options mentioned above. A fourth option Remove expiration date, will disable any previously set expiration date for the group.
According to the screenshot, WhatsApp will prompt the user to clean up the group on the expiration date. This suggests that the feature will not be an automated process, unlike disappearing chats. Meanwhile, the choice to associate an end-date to WhatsApp groups — might not affect other members of the group.
The Meta-owned messaging app can accommodate as many as 1,024 members in each group chat. Several messages and attachments shared on a group can quickly fill up a user's available storage.
WhatsApp's ‘Expiring Groups' feature, that is expected to make its way to both Android and iOS versions of the app, could help users better manage their phone's storage by clearing group chats regularly.
Once a chosen expiration date for the group chat is reached, they will be reminded by WhatsApp to download any important content from the chats and then clear the conversation, according to the feature tracker.
As of now, this feature is not available for beta users to test on the latest versions of WhatsApp beta for iOS and Android. WhatsApp is yet to announce details of when it will release the feature to all users.
The platform is also working on the ability to silence unknown callers and also subscribe to a WhatsApp newsletter.
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