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WhatsApp might add support for disappearing images

WhatsApp reportedly working on self-destructing image support
WhatsApp reportedly working on self-destructing image support (Pixabay)

The popular encrypted messaging app could be working on a new privacy-friendly feature in the form of self-destructing media sharing. 

WhatsApp is one of the most widely used messaging apps globally, and the app regularly adds new features in order to stay relevant in the competitive messaging landscape. Shortly after we reported that the company was adding support for third party animated sticker packs in select regions, a new report suggests the app could be working on a new private chat feature.

According to WhatsApp feature leaker WABetaInfo, the Facebook-owned messaging service might be preparing to add a new self-destructing photo feature for iOS and Android devices. The feature will let users send photos to other WhatsApp users and they will disappear from the recipient’s device after they have been viewed once.

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This feature looks very similar to Signal’s “view once” media sharing setting that allows you to send videos and images that vanish after they are opened - this was launched early last year. Since 2018, Instagram Direct messages has also allowed users to send media that can be viewed once or replayed once again before they are deleted.

Based on the leaked screenshots shared by WABetaInfo, it appears that users can click photos or pick images from their gallery (or Camera Roll on iOS) and simply share an image with another WhatsApp user by tapping a new button with a 1 icon that appears next to the “add a caption” text field. The images also to not have a preview and show a “Tap to view” message in the chat instead.

Also read: WhatsApp allows importing animated stickers, but you probably can't use it yet

Unlike regular images shared via WhatsApp, these self-destructing photos cannot be exported from the app or to your Camera Roll, according to WABetaInfo. It also appears that WhatsApp has not yet implemented a screenshot detection functionality to go with the feature. The feature is likely to be added as there is no way to block screenshots on iOS and taking screenshots would defeat the purpose of one-time view image sharing.

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