Instant messaging application WhatsApp is rolling out a new feature that will “make your private moments disappear after a single view.”
The feature, called “View Once,” gives WhatsApp users the option to make their outgoing photos and videos available to the recipient just once, as the name suggests. The media sent cannot be forwarded or saved on the recipient’s device, and could not be viewed again even by the sender once the feature has been chosen.
On August 3, 2021, WhatsApp announced that the new feature will be available to users within the week. The instant messaging app also gave examples of when this feature would be useful, such as sending photos of one trying out new clothes while shopping and sending sensitive information like Wi-Fi passwords.
“While taking photos or videos on our phones has become such a big part of our lives, not everything we share needs to become a permanent digital record. On many phones, simply taking a photo means it will take up space in your camera roll forever,” WhatsApp said.
“That’s why today we’re rolling out new ‘View Once’ photos and videos that disappear from the chat after they’ve been opened, giving users even more control over their privacy.”
However, the Facebook-owned platform is still reminding users to use the feature only when communicating with “trusted individuals” since senders will not be notified if the recipient takes a screenshot or uses a separate application to record their screen.
To use the feature, users must click on the “1” icon on the left side of the send button for every message they want to only be viewed once. If the media has not been opened after 14 days, it will automatically “expire” and will no longer be available to the recipient.