RIP, memories? Filipino Messenger users lament ‘disappearance’ of photos, files, links

May 4, 2023 - 5:13 PM
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Chat concept
Messenger app for mobile in flat style (Image by Freepik)

RIP, memories?

This was what some Filipino Messenger users commented after some files, media, and links shared in chats within the platform suddenly disappeared on Thursday, May 4.

A Facebook page announced that opening the “files,” “links,” and the “media” tabs within chats leads to an empty space instead of a gallery containing the content shared.

Others can still access some content, although it is not complete.

“Alam mo ba na wala [nang] laman ang files, links and photos/videos [niyo] sa [M]essenger huhuhu,” the page said in a now-viral post uploaded on 12:19 p.m. Thursday.

Several Filipinos confirmed the incident in the comments section.

“Totoo nga, wala na, mukhang nakahalata na sila na [ginagawa] lang natin silang hard drive,” a Pinoy joked with a lauging-with-tears emoji.

“Hala, paano na mga screenshot natin,” another online user wrote, tagging a Facebook friend.

“Sana ibalik, hays, daming importanteng files,” commented a different Facebook user.

The issue also made its way to Twitter, where some Filipinos expressed their sentiments about the disappearance.

“RIP [rest in peace] to all the screenshots that you’ve sent in the ‘MARITES’ Facebook Messenger group chat,” a Twitter user wrote with a face-holding-back-tears emoji.

“Marites” is a term used by online Filipinos to refer to someone who loves gossip.

“Messenger, nakikiiusap ako, pakibalik mga photo/vids [videos]… ‘yun na lang meron akong memories,” another Pinoy tweeted with a loudly-crying emoji.

“Lah [Hala], inalis lahat ng mga shared photos and vids sa Messenger!!!! [Doon] pa naman ako nag-sa-save ng mga dinelete kong pic sa gallery ko,” commented a different Filipino.

“G**o huhuhu [andoon] memories ko,” wrote another Twitter user in response to reports of Messenger’s issue.

Others, however, were unaffected by the incident.

“Could care less. [I] don’t use this anyway,” a Twitter user commented.

Tech support professional Art Samaniego Jr. allayed the users’ fears by saying that Facebook users only need to “scroll up” in the conversations if they want to see their shared content.

“This is because Facebook Messenger stores all of the photos shared in a chat chronologically. So, if you have a general idea of when the photo was shared, you can scroll up to find it,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

“Many call it an unannounced Messenger Update, but I think it’s a glitch that will be corrected soon,” Samaniego added.

Messenger is Meta‘s instant messaging app which acts as a communication service that enables people to message each other on Facebook and Instagram.

It also acts as a standalone app for people who want quick access to conversations with their families, friends, and communities.

Apart from chats, the messaging platform enables users to share photos, videos, files, and website links.

These can be accessed within the chat but for easier reference, Messenger also stores them through the “Media, files and links” tab.

On the desktop version, these can be seen at the lower part of the chat’s right tab that displays information such as chat members and features like chat theme.

Facebook Messenger_chat info
(Screengrab by Interaksyon from Messenger)
Facebook Messenger_chat info2
(Screengrab by Interaksyon from Messenger)

Messenger has yet to release a statement about the issue.

Facebook and Meta, its parent company, have not yet commented as well.

As of writing, the live outage report of Downdetector said there were reported problems with the usage of the app, sending messages and viewing the history.

Facebook and Messenger are two of the “favorite” and “most-used” social media platforms of Filipinos, according to an April 2023 blog post of Meltwater, a media monitoring company.

“According to Philippine social media statistics, Facebook is the most popular social networking site. It’s hardly surprising that it’s the most popular in a nation where most of the top cellular networks even provide free Facebook access for subscribers,” the post said.

“Filipinos can learn about current events and find information about the world on Facebook. On the other hand, FB Messenger allows them to stay connected and up-to-date with friends and family,” it added.