WhatsApp set to roll out self-destructing photos to double down on your privacy

WhatsApp planning to copy Instagram and Snapchat's disappearing messages feature

(Image credit: Google images)

WhatsApp is following in the footsteps of Snapchat and Instagram with self-destructing photos set to roll out to iOS and Android in a future update.

The privacy-heavy app is set to implement the new feature, which allows users to view media that will disappear once they've exited the chat. Instagram's disappearing direct messages will alert the sender if the recipient takes a screenshot, and Snapchat has a similar notification that lets you know if someone's been grabbing screenshots. 

WABetaInfo has spotted the upcoming self-destructing photos feature, but explains that "WhatsApp doesn't really like the idea of screenshot detection" so it's not clear if we'll see these notifications added to the app alongside self-destructing photos, but the feature is pretty pointless without them. 

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Disappearing media can't be exported from WhatsApp either, so if it's going down the Instagram route, users are going to need some level of assurance that their self-destructing photos will work as intended, and can't be saved by the recipient; and if someone takes a screenshot, you'll want to know about it. You can see what the feature is set to look like in action in the tweet above. 

WhatsApp has had its fair share of trouble recently with the furore around its new privacy policy, which is affecting users outside of the EU and UK. The new terms come into effect in May, and while the Facebook-owned company has seen the backlash to the decision result in users fleeing to WhatsApp alternative messaging services, it's sticking to its guns, and is banking on the billions of its users hitting accept on May 15. 

Shabana Arif

Shabana worked at T3.com as News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). She's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down here at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies. If you have any tech or gaming tips, shoot over an email or DM her on social media.