Meta-owned Whatsapp is testing a new feature to block screenshots for disappearing media. Released in August 2021, the disappearing media feature allowed the instant messaging platform’s users to view a video or an image only once. However, users found a way to bypass this safety feature by taking a screenshot. In August 2022, Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company will soon introduce a screenshot blocking feature for self-destructing media.
After the new update, according to WABetaInfo, when a user tries to take a screenshot of a self-destructing image, a toast message appears reading, “Can’t take screenshot due to security policy”.
Using a third-party application will also reportedly not work to take a screenshot. If a user uses any such app to take a screenshot, a black screenshot will be saved in their ‘Gallery’.
However, unlike Snapchat, WhatsApp will not notify the sender of the media that the viewer tried to take a screenshot.
WhatsApp has rolled out the new feature to selected Android testers running v18.104.22.168 or newer. A wider beta test is expected to be conducted in the coming weeks before the feature is rolled out to the public.
“WhatsApp beta for Android 22.214.171.124 is marked as a compatible update but some users may also be able to get the same feature after installing the previous beta build,” WABetaInfo’s website said.
However, even with the new changes, the recipient may still take a photo by using a secondary mobile device
Also, the viewer can take screenshots of conversations even if they contain some disappearing messages since the new feature is only limited to view once images and videos.