WhatsApp, Messenger, and Telegram are popular messaging apps where users can chat with friends, send photos, videos, and voice notes, or make voice and video calls for free online. Users can also have group chats, including video and voice calls with multiple contacts at a time.
There are a few things to be aware of with Chat Apps:
WhatsApp and some other platforms use end-to-end encryption, which restricts the ability of platforms and law enforcement from intercepting messages. This enhances privacy, but may also make it harder to detect instances of online abuse or exploitation.
An unfortunate behaviour that can happen on these apps. It’s good to be aware of their use in cases of bullying. See our section on Bullying for more information on this topic.
Disappearing Messages, Images, and Videos
Children and young people may use disappearing messages to share intimate messages, photos, or videos with the misperception that they will not be permanent.
This feature adds complexity for law enforcement to capture evidence of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
Disappearing messages may be used to discuss illegal activity, such as drug use, between young people.
This feature may facilitate peer-on-peer abuse among children and young people, making it more difficult to ‘escape’ from.
What is the 'View Once' feature?
WhatsApp have released their ‘View Once’ photos and videos function. If the “1” icon is chosen before you send a photo or video, it will vanish after being viewed once, much like Snapchat. Images or Videos will disappear from the chat if the ‘View Once’ icon is selected within the caption box. However, users can still screenshot images and screen record videos without the sender being notified. For more information around WhatsApp’s newest and upcoming features check out our blog here.