WhatsApp is currently experimenting with a feature that would allow its users to create a group for a limited time period with an expiration date, ensuring that it does not remain on the app indefinitely.
The issue of “zombie groups” is a common one, where groups are created for a specific purpose or event but end up lingering on without any real purpose.
These groups can clutter up the interface and become a distraction, especially if some members continue to participate in them.
How it works
The UI option comes with an explanatory text that states “You will receive a prompt to tidy up groups when they reach their expiration date”.
This feature can be useful when organizing events or activities as the group will automatically vanish after the set date.
It’s known as the Expiring Groups feature, which allows you to establish a temporary group and set an expiration date, so you can eliminate it as needed.
iOS availability for now
WABetaInfo has clarified that when the feature is launched, users will have the option to select from a range of expiration settings, including one day, one week, or a custom date, and they can also cancel an expiration that was previously set if they change their mind.
This feature is currently being tested in the WhatsApp for iOS beta update version 188.8.131.52, and it will soon be included in a group’s settings as “Expiring Groups”.
Once activated, it will assist users in determining a timeline for the group’s expiration, with options ranging from one day, one week, or a custom date.
Individual user’s prerogative
Upon reaching the expiration limit, the user will be prompted to exit the group, which is particularly helpful for those who may forget to cancel the expiration.
If the user wants the group to remain active beyond the expiration date, they can easily turn off the feature or remove the expiration date altogether.
It’s important to note that this option is designed for individual users only, and it will not affect other group participants.
Therefore, unless the other participants have also set expiration dates, they will still be able to access the group and view its messages.
In beta phase
This feature is quite intriguing as it allows users to streamline their app and eliminate groups that are no longer useful, potentially freeing up storage space.
Although it’s still in beta testing, it has the potential to be a useful tool for many users.
Additionally, WhatsApp is experimenting with several other features, including newsletters, a feature to block spam calls, and many more.
Automatic silencing of spam calls
One noteworthy feature currently being developed by WhatsApp is aimed at preventing spam calls on the platform.
This feature will enable users to silence calls from unknown numbers, although these silenced calls will still be visible in both the Notification Center and the calls list.
The feature is being developed in response to a problem introduced by WhatsApp’s Communities feature, which has reportedly made users’ numbers vulnerable to unwanted calls and group chat invites from unknown individuals.