WhatsApp is testing a feature that would let users set up a temporary group with an expiry date so that it wouldn’t stay on the app forever.
Many would be familiar with the common issue of so-called “zombie groups”, i.e. groups formed temporarily which end up outlasting their usefulness after the event in question.
They unnecessarily add to clutter and become a distraction if other group members still participate in them.
How it works
“When enabled, you will be prompted to clean up groups on their expiration date,” reads the explanatory text for the UI option.
This should be helpful for when people are organizing events or other activities
Once it concludes the group will automatically disappear at the set date.
This is called the Expiring Groups feature, which will let you set up a temporary group and set up an expiration date for a group so that you can get rid of it when needed.
iOS availability for now
“When this feature is released, users will be able to choose from various expiration options such as one day, one week, or a custom date, and they will also have the ability to remove an expiration that was previously set in case they change their mind,” explains WABetaInfo.
It is being tested as part of the WhatsApp for iOS beta update version 18.104.22.168.
‘Expiring Groups’ will soon be available as part of a group’s settings.
Once enabled it will help the user decide on an expiration timeline for the group.
You will be able to choose from a day, a week, or a custom date.
Individual user’s prerogative
Once the limit is reached the user will receive a prompt to exit the group, handy for those who forget to cancel the expiration at any point.
If the user wants the group to remain indefinitely, they have the option to simply turn it off or remove the expiration date.
Do note that this option is meant for individual users “as it will not apply to other group participants.”
So, unless the other participants in the group have also set expiration dates, they will remain in the group with their messages still visible.
In beta phase
The feature is an interesting one, enabling a user to declutter their app and get rid of redundant groups that no longer serve their purpose, which should also help towards saving storage.
This is a beta feature so there’s no word on when it will be available for all.
On a related note the messaging platform is also testing Newsletters, the ability to avoid spam calls, and much more.
Automatic silencing of spam calls
Notably one such feature helps users avoid spam calls on the platform.
This feature offers the ability to silence calls from unknown numbers, although silenced calls will still be visible in the Notification Center and the calls list.
It is being developed in response to a problem introduced by WhatsApp’s Communities feature, which has reportedly opened up numbers to random calls and group chat invites from unknown users.