Facebook-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp seems to be bringing a disappearing media feature. WhatsApp has reportedly launched a self-erasing media and texts feature on iOS in the latest beta version of the app. The feature is available with version 126.96.36.199 of WhatsApp beta for iOS on testflight. Users with access to the “view once” feature will see a dedicated button resembling a timer in the caption input field, as shown in screenshots shared by WABetaInfo. Clicking the button shows a message that says “Send photos and videos that can only be viewed once.” There is also a description, which says, “For more privacy, your photo or video will disappear from the chat after the recipient opens it once. Remember, people can always take screenshots,” the description on the new feature reads.
This is not like WhatsApp’s disappearing messages feature that erases messages after seven days. Photos and videos sent by view once mode will vanish immidiately as the recipient closes them. This is similar to the disappearing images and videos feature on Instagram. However, Instagram allows users to let the receipient replay the disappearing image or video. It is not known if WhatsApp’s feature will include an “Allow Replay” option. In order to send a disappearing image or video on WhatsApp, users need to open a chat > Click camera icon on the message bar > capture of select image > click “timer icon” on the caption input field > select time > send.
WhatsApp has promoted the feature as a way to encourage more authentic and intimate conversations. It is not known as to when the feature will be rolled out to all users, but given that it is already launched for beta testers, there isn’t much time till we see disappearing media feature on our WhatsApp.