According to the latest news, WhatsApp is working on a new feature called Expiring Media that would make media files sent to a recipient’s phone disappear once the recipient leaves the chat. It will work on file formats like images, videos, and GIFs. This appears to be an extension to the Expiring Messages feature. The Expiring Messages feature is in the works for quite a while. With it, WhatsApp users would be able to send media files on a temporary basis. This feature is yet to be part of WhatsApp beta but we hope, very soon, the company will add it.
WhatsApp feature tracker WABetaInfo has shared a few screenshots regarding this. The screenshots show the feature in action in detail. One of the screenshots conveys that the feature would be available for access through a dedicated timer button. Here, the users have to tap that button after adding media to their chats. The tap on the button will enable the expiration of the selected media content.
WABetaInfo reported that the images and videos shared by enabling this Expiring Media feature will completely disappear once the recipient leaves the chat window. WhatsApp would highlight such media contents with a timer icon so that the recipient also knows that the shared files will expire once they leave the chat.
According to WABetaInfo’s report, this new feature is in the initial stage of development for Android users, though later on, it would eventually come for both Android and iOS platforms.
It should be noted that this upcoming Expiring Media feature of WhatsApp looks quite similar to what currently Instagram offers. Instagram is offering to send a disappearing photo or video as a direct message for a long time. Instagram also lets allows this feature in group chats. As of now, we have no clue, whether, WhatsApp will also bring this feature for group chats, or will it be available as a personal chat exclusive.
Last month, a WhatsApp version 22.214.171.124 beta release for Android was spotted carrying some evidence of this Expiring Messages feature. It must be noted that as of now, there is no official information from WhatsApp. The company is yet to provide any details either about Expiring Messages or about Expiring Media so it seems we have to wait a bit for this feature to be live.