WhatsApp will soon let you send self-destructing images

On: March 3, 2021

  • WhatsApp is testing a self-destructing images feature
  • Self-destructing images cannot be exported from WhatsApp
  • It will be available on iOS and Android devices in future

Back in November, WhatsApp introduced the Disappearing Messages feature, which can automatically delete conversations after a period of 7 days. Fresh information shared by WABetaInfo reveals that the company is now testing a feature that can self-destruct photos shared with someone after a pre-defined time duration.

Also Read: WhatsApp Mute Video feature launched: how to send videos on WhatsApp without sound

At the beginning of this year, WhatsApp updated its privacy policy and terms of service. It claimed that the app will collect user data and share it with its parent firm Facebook and its subsidiaries. Users were required to accept the new privacy policy update by February 8th to keep using WhatsApp.

After facing a lot of criticism, the Facebook-owned firm extended the deadline to May 15th.  It seems that with features like Disappearing Images and the self-destructing images, the company could be trying to regain trust before the new privacy policy cut-off date.

WhatsApp’s self-destructing images feature: what to expect?

WhatsApp self-destruction photos feature

The screenshots shared by WABetaInfo show that the image preview window will feature a new toggle button sitting alongside the text box.  Tapping the button will show a message that reads, “This media will disappear, once you leave this chat.” Once someone shares an image, it will disappear on its own after the chat window is closed. The person who receives the message will also see the same notification message.

The source claims that the self-destructing photos cannot be saved to the phone’s storage. However, the company is yet to add a feature that will prevent users from taking a screengrab of the photo before it disappears.  Moreover, the sender will not come to know whether the recipient has taken a screenshot of the image. It is unclear as to how long the photo will remain viewable before it gets deleted.

While the feature appears to be half-baked, the WhatsApp update tracker claims that it will be arriving on iOS and Android platforms in the future. WhatsApp’s rival Telegram has been offering a similar feature called Secret Chat since 2017. The feature allows users to set a self-destruct timer ranging from 1 second to an entire week before sending text messages or media files. It is also equipped with a screenshot detection feature that notifies the user whether the receiver tried to take a screenshot.


Anvinraj Valiyathara

Anvin is a self-proclaimed geek who has been writing about smartphones for nearly 10 years. After using phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note, Sony Xperia Mini, Lumia 730, Lumia 950, Honor 7, Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and Honor 8 Pro to name a few, he is now a happy user of the POCO F1. In his free time, he participates in church activities and likes to travel.