WhatsApp to stop auto-saving media to Photos when users have disappearing messages enabled

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The messaging platform WhatsApp is changing how it saves media to the iPhone Photos app. Instead of photos, GIFs and videos being saved to the gallery on a user’s device as soon as they are received in a chat, if disappearing messages are enabled, the media will no longer be automatically saved.

This change, which was first noticed by WABetaInfo, will surely help improve the privacy of WhatsApp users. However, it is worth noting that media can still be saved manually, and screenshots can be taken even with disappearing messages enabled – it is simply the automatic saving of such media that has been turned off.

The change is now rolling out to both iOS and Android, and users can expect it to kick in over the next few days. WhatsApp will automatically switch off the “media visibility” or “save to camera roll” option (the former on Android, the latter on iOS) for conversations with disappearing chats selected.

The disabling of media auto-saving in this way is a development that will likely be welcomed by great numbers of WhatsApp users. After all, the inclusion of disappearing messages is probably one of the key attractions of the service for privacy-conscious users, and in that context, media being automatically saved from the app to the recipient’s device arguably never made much sense to begin with.

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