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Instagram, a photo-hosting app, also allows users to share images and videos with their friends via the dedicated messaging function that is part of the app. The direct messages feature (DM), which is similar to WhatsApp’s media sharing, lets millions of Instagram users share their content with friends and family.

There are instances when a user doesn’t want his content to be viewed multiple times or viewed only a certain number of times. This is why Instagram has an ‘exploding message’ option within its DM.

Users can use ‘exploding message’ to send photos and videos directly from their phone gallery, or from their camera app. The recipient will then see the images in their email.

How to use Instagram to delete images or videos


Click the message option in the upper-right corner.

Step 2

Choose the recipients you wish to send the video/image disappearing. Multiple users can also be sent the message.

Step 3

Click on the camera icon to the left of your message box.

Step 4

Choose the photo/video you wish to share. Clicking an image can be done using the camera shutter icon.

Step 5

The next bubble will read ‘Send’. Below that you’ll see the option to ‘VIEW ONCE. The recipient will be limited to viewing the image one time only. The recipient can only view the image until they hold it or press the button.

Step 6

A small icon of a bomb will accompany the exploding message. To allow the viewer to see more of the contents and have it remain in chat, you can choose the “ALLOW REPLAY” and “KEEP IN CHAT” options.

How about if they take a picture?

You can’t stop someone from taking screenshots of what you sent. However, this will let you know if a screenshot was taken. A sun-like icon will appear beside your image, which means that another person took a screenshot.