WhatsApp announces major voice note privacy change

WhatsApp is expanding its “View Once” feature to include voice notes, letting users send audio clips that disappear after being listened to.

The company announced the change in a blog post, saying the feature is ideal for sharing credit card details with a friend or when planning a surprise.

“Today, we’re excited to announce you can now send a voice message that will disappear once listened to,” WhatsApp said.

View Once voice notes will be marked with a “one-time” icon, similar to the icon shown on View Once images and videos.

To access the feature, users can tap the mic button in a WhatsApp chat on their Android or iOS device, and they will see the View Once icon in the right-hand corner.

The icon appears regardless of whether users swipe up on the mic icon to lock it or hold the mic icon to record. Users can then tap the View Once icon to send a disappearing voice note.

View Once voice notes are protected with end-to-end encryption.

“As with all your personal messages, WhatsApp protects your voice messages with end-to-end encryption by default, and View Once is just another example of our continued privacy innovation,” said WhatsApp.

However, Android Central notes that there is no mechanism in place to stop the recipient from recording the voice note via other methods, such as with their phone’s built-in screen recorder.

Recipients have 14 days to open a View Once voice note after it’s sent, and the audio message can’t be forwarded, saved, starred, or shared.

Now read: Password managers leaking credentials in Android apps

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WhatsApp announces major voice note privacy change