WhatsApp working on self-destructing photos for Android and iOS

A future version of WhatsApp will let users send self-destructing images. It works similar to how Instagram Direct handles self-destructing media.

Highlights
  • WhatsApp will soon allow users to send self-destructing images. 
  • The images will not be stored on the device and be deleted once they have been viewed
  • Both the Android and iOS versions of WhatsApp will get the feature

WhatsApp introduced the ‘disappearing messages’ feature quite some time ago. However, it was only applicable to texts and not media. A future version of WhatsApp will allow users to send self-destructing images via individual chats and groups. Wabetainfo stumbled upon the feature in an upcoming version of WhatsApp. Users can also set a timer after which the photo self-destructs. This appears to be similar to how Instagram’s Direct’s disappearing messages work. Lastly, both Android and iOS versions of WhatsApp will get self-destructing photos via a future update. The feature is likely in the testing phase right now, so it could be a while before it makes its way to a stable build. 

Like several other ‘new’ WhatsApp features, Telegram has allowed users to send self-destructing images over secret and regular chats for quite some time. It also prevents users from taking screenshots of self-destructing media. Third-party recording apps don’t seem to work either, although some still manage to bypass the restriction at times. WhatsApp has no such measures in place at the moment, but that could change once the feature is rolled out en-masse. As expected, users will not be able to export self-destructing images from WhatsApp. 

Also read: WhatsApp multi-device support launching soon, new log out feature spotted

The desktop version of WhatsApp is unlikely to support the feature. There’s still no word about when multi-device support will be rolled out. Self-destructing media, coupled with mandatory end-to-end encryption and multiple devices can be a tad tricky to get right. Hence, it could be some time before we see all of these make their way to WhatsApp.