WhatsApp now sends disappearing content that can be viewed only once

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WhatsApp View Once
Images and videos get deleted after they've been seen.
Photo: WhatsApp

You can now send disappearing images and videos on WhatsApp that can be viewed only once. The new feature, aptly named “View Once,” takes cues from similar disappearing message options from the likes of Snapchat.

Disappearing messages and other content is particularly popular among teens who want to share … things that they don’t want other people to save or spread. But they can be handy in all sorts of perfectly innocent cases.

Perhaps you want to share login, credit card, or other sensitive details with a friend, and you don’t want them to have access to it in the future. You can now do that in WhatsApp with its new View Once feature.

WhatsApp adds View Once feature on iPhone

View Once photos and videos disappear from the chat after they’ve been opened, so they can only be seen once. They’re protected by end-to-end encryption, so no one else — not even WhatsApp — can access them.

Disappearing content is clearly marked with a “one-time” icon, so you’ll know you have only once chance to see it. And after it has been viewed, it appears as “opened” so that everyone in the chat knows what’s happening.

View Once content cannot be saved or forwarded, and if it isn’t opened within 14 days of being sent, it expires and gets deleted automatically. Only one piece of media can be sent at a time using View Once.

Before the screenshots

Just like on Snapchat, it is possible for disappearing content shared on WhatsApp to be captured with a screenshot or screen recording before it disappears. Unlike on Snapchat, WhatsApp won’t notify when this happens.

So, although View Once does offer you a bit more privacy, it’s not completely foolproof and should be used only with people you trust. More details are available in WhatApp’s Help Center.

To use View Once yourself, ensure you have the latest WhatsApp release installed on your iPhone. WhatsApp says it is rolling out to everything this week.