Unlike Signal and WhatsApp, Telegram does not have a special disappearing message mode, but there are two versatile ways to send disappearing messages in the app. You can send self-destructing media to anyone or use the secret chat mode. Here̵
Send disappearing messages using secret chat in Telegram
Secret Chat is Telegram’s full end-to-end encrypted messaging feature (this is a big difference between Signal and Telegram.). It only works for one-on-one chats and anything sent in a secret chat will only remain on the device. Once you delete a secret chat, all messages will be gone.
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The secret chat has a timer feature that allows you to send disappearing messages between a minute and a week (including text, photos, messages and other media).
When you are in secret chat mode, the Android app prevents users from taking screenshots. iPhone users can still take a screenshot, but you will be notified in the chat.
Start a secret chat on Telegram for iPhone
You can start a secret chat from a contact’s profile. Open the Telegram app on your iPhone and go to the conversation where you want to start a separate secret chat.
Tap their profile name at the top here.
Now tap on the “More” button.
Choose the option “Start Secret Chat”.
Confirm from the pop-up with the “Start” button.
Secret chat mode is now active. To turn on the self-destruct timer, tap the stopwatch icon in the text box.
Choose the time period in which the message will remain in the secret chat. You can choose between a second and a week. After making your selection, tap the “Done” button.
And that’s it. Now you can send anything in the chat (photos, videos, text, GIFs) and it will self-destruct after the time sent.
You can see the countdown in the message itself. Once the time is up, the message will disappear as if it had never been sent.
Start a secret chat on Telegram for Android
If you are on Android, the process to enable disappearing messages in Secret Chat is very different.
First you need to start a secret chat with a contact. To do this, open the Telegram app on your Android smartphone and go to the conversation where you want to start a secret chat.
Then tap their profile name at the top.
Select the three-dot menu icon in the top right corner.
Now tap on the option “Start Secret Chat”.
In the popup, tap the “Start” button to confirm.
You now need to enable the self-destruct timer feature to send disappearing messages.
In the secret chat, tap the stopwatch icon in the top toolbar.
Choose the time frame for self-destructing messages, then tap the “Done” button.
Any message sent now in the secret chat will automatically disappear after the set time.
Send disappearing photos and videos to any contact in Telegram
Secret chat is a feature that offers end-to-end encryption, but what if you just want to send a self-destructing photo or video (like you would in Snapchat or Instagram)? You can do this using the self-destructing media feature, which allows you to send disappearing messages with a timer from one second to one minute.
This feature only works in one-on-one chats. It is not available for Telegram groups and channels. Disappearing photos and videos will appear with a blurry overlay in the chat, along with the timer.
When the person taps the preview, the timer starts. If they take a screenshot of the photo, you will be notified.
Send disappearing photos and videos in Telegram for iPhone
Telegram’s Send with Timer feature for sharing disappearing photos and videos on iPhone is hidden behind a long-press action. To start, open the conversation you want to send the disappearing message to.
Then tap the attach icon next to the text box.
Choose a photo or video here.
When you’re done, tap and hold the send button.
Select the option “Send with timer”.
Select a time interval and tap the “Send with timer” button.
The photo or video will now be sent in chat.
Send disappearing photos and videos in Telegram for Android
The process for sending disappearing photos or videos in Android app is different.
To start, open the chat you want to send the photo or video to. Then tap the attach icon next to the text box.
Add a photo or video here.
Tap the stopwatch icon next to the send button.
Select the time interval and tap the “Done” button.
Now tap the send button to share the message in chat.
The photo or video is available in chat, with a blurry preview and timer at the top. Once viewed and the timer expires, the message will disappear from the chat.
Wondering which WhatsApp alternative is right for you? Read our guide to the best WhatsApp alternatives to learn more.
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