Telegram said users can now “set a self-destruct timer” for any photos and videos they share in private chats, as part of a new update.
“If you set a timer, the countdown starts the moment your recipient opens the photo or video you sent. After the time runs out, the photo/video will disappear forever,” the app maker said.
If the recipient takes a screenshot of the disappearing media, the sender will get a notification immediately.
The feature is similar to Snapchat’s core proposition. The secure messaging app maker wouldn’t be the first to clone the popular app’s services: Instagram Stories did the same and its efforts proved more successful than the original.
Telegram’s update also includes “completely redesigned” photo editing tools and the ability to add a bio.
“Every time you stumble upon new users in large groups you might want to learn more about them. That’s where bios can help,” the firm explained.
What’s more, Telegram said it will now rely on a content delivery network to cache publicly available photos and videos posted in channels which have more than 100,000 members, with the aim of reaching significantly higher download speeds for “tens of millions of Telegram users” around the world.
The update is also meant to improve privacy, but its privacy features are what have led it into hot water in some countries. Russia’s Federal Security Service said the app provided “terrorists with the opportunity to create secret chat rooms with a high degree of encryption”.
In Indonesia Telegram’s founder had to promise to shut down “terrorist-related” public channels after authorities blocked access to the platform for spreading “radical and terrorist propaganda”.