Our one-to-one digital conversations are supposed to be intimate, and systems like end-to-end encryption are in place to keep them that way. Still, all our messages and media files remain on at least two devices unless manually deleted, and their unencrypted backups on apps like WhatsApp are simply a giant loophole asking to be exploited. Ephemeral messaging is often touted as a quick fix to this menace, and Signal is toying with the idea in its beta app that now lets you send single-view media files.

This isn’t the first time Signal is implementing this feature; in fact, you could already send disappearing texts with timers running between five seconds and one week. With the latest beta update, the messaging service is now expanding its scope to cover media files as well. While ephemerality is great for privacy and confidentiality, Signal’s pitch focuses more on the convenience of not having to delete a bulk of random photos piling up in the library, which we often procrastinate deleting.

For each photo or video you send, you’ll have the option to make it perennial or ephemeral using the button shown above. On picking the latter, the specified file will disappear from both the sender and recipient’s conversation thread after a single view, and be replaced with a “viewed” indicator. To test the feature out, you’ll need to join Signal’s beta program form this Play Store link or download the beta app from APK Mirror.

Signal Private Messenger
Signal Private Messenger