Viber Now Lets Users Decide Whether to Keep Photos and Videos Permanently in Conversations or Not


Messaging application Viber’s latest update brings to its users features that have for a long time been the key driver of another popular messaging app, Snapchat. The ephemeral messaging app’s signature feature had been disappearing texts, videos and photos at first before it diversified into other things news delivery and its latest product, the Snap spectacles. Now, its competitors including Rakuten-owned Viber also want in.

Viber has announced the rollout of a new feature allowing users to set timers when they share photos and videos with their chat partners so that they self-destruct when the time is up instead of being archived in the conversation.

The feature, dubbed ‘Secret Messages’, is meant to give users greater privacy over the content they share on the messaging application. For instance, a photo or video assigned a 4-minute timer disappears from a one-on-one chat or group conversation in exactly 4 minutes without further notice. The statement accompanying the feature’s rollout last week sums things up: “Some things are meant to be seen once and then never again.”

Other messaging applications like Telegram, Line and Kakao Talk have had similar features for a while. Telegram has gone a step further and even lets users “take back” any undesired messages they may have sent during a window of up to 48 hours.

Viber is said to have at least 260 million monthly active users, and about 800 million registered users.

Here’s how to send a disappearing image or video using Viber:

  • Open the Viber application, select a contact or group you want to chat with/in, tap the image or camera button – choose where to load up the photo or video from (either your gallery application or camera app)
  • Set the timer
  • Have fun!
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Emmanuel writes on mobile hardware, software and platforms.