WhatsApp could soon bring self-destructing photos to chats

Facebook already offers this in Instagram Direct.

What you need to know

  • Facebook is testing expiring photos support in WhatsApp.
  • Once rolled out, photos sent in a chat will disappear once that chat is closed.
  • It still remains in testing at the moment and has not been brought even to beta testers.

WhatsApp is working on expiring photos, a popular messaging apps feature. Like with Snapchat who popularised the format, photos sent via this feature won’t be saved or persist. Instead, they’ll vanish as soon as you close the chat. You also won’t be able to forward images marked to expire.

At this stage in testing, there isn’t any screenshot protection. But then again, Facebook hasn’t even rolled this out to beta testers, so it’s naturally going to be some feature gaps between what’s expected to come and what is actually coming down.

Here are some screenshots from the folks over at WABetaInfo who found this upcoming feature.

While you can delete or unsend messages and photos, this feature essentially automates it. You can also enable disappearing messages in WhatsApp if you want your entire chat history to be ephemeral, not just photos.

Self-destructing photos is a privacy feature that’s proven to be a draw for rival messaging apps, so it makes a lot of sense of WhatsApp to integrate it into its own app. In addition, Facebook has mulled linking all of its messaging apps. Offering one feature on one app and not offering it on the other app would work against that vision.

In other news, WhatsApp also implemented voice and video calling on its desktop apps today. Soon, the company will roll out its controversial new privacy policy, and continue its march towards unification of all its messaging platforms.


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