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WhatsApp images can soon be sent with a self-destruct timer

The new feature is still being tested, but it seems there is already one major loophole.

whatsapp logo on blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

Popular international messaging app WhatsApp will soon get a feature that will allow users to send images that self-destruct after a certain time. Previously, users were able to send messages that would expire after 7 days. Now, the app will expand that functionality, allowing users to set a date when they send an image, and that image is deleted after that date.

In a tweet from WEBetaInfo, the independent WhatsApp news account reported that the company is currently working on the new self-destructing images feature. This highlights that users will be able to set their own expiration dates, deleting the photo from WhatsApp itself, as well as off of the phones of people who receive the image.

This feature has yet be rolled out to users, and it is clear from the tweet that this feature is still in the testing stage. It is not yet known when this update will be available.

The new WhatsApp gives only a thin veil of privacy to users

This does look like a good direction for WhatsApp, which has been in the news recently for various privacy issues. However, there is one major concern noted in the tweet above.

It looks like the app is working on a way to prohibit the export of images that have a self-destruct timer enabled, which is a good thing. However, it doesn’t look like there is anything to stop users from screenshotting images and saving the screenshots directly to their devices. Unfortunately, having the ability to do that somewhat defeats the entire purpose of the new feature.

Hopefully, this is just an oversight. It would seem that WhatsApp would tackle the screenshotting issue as well, to help give users more privacy options on their platform. We’ll just have to wait and see once the feature is rolled out.

Have any thoughts on this? Would you use this new self-destructing image feature? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at alex@knowtechie.com

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