WhatsApp is busy testing a new feature that will allow users to send videos or photos that can only be viewed once before they disappear from a chat.
According to WABetaInfo, the Snapchat-like capability is now available to specific users of version 126.96.36.199 of the WhatsApp Beta for Android.
These users will see a small round icon with a “1” on the right side of the caption box when sending a video or photo, as shown in the image below.
This can be toggled to turn on the “view once” feature.
The recipient of the item will get the alert below that the photo or video is set to view once.
The sender will then be notified when the recipient has opened the media item via a new type of read receipt.
Once the receiver closes the message, the media will be removed from the chat and cannot be viewed again.
Below is the new read receipt that the sender of the photo or video will see under message info.
WABetaInfo warned that the recipient will still retain a copy of the image or video by taking a screenshot or screen recording of it.
Since WhatsApp does not have screenshot detection, it won’t currently warn you about this.
In addition, the feature will work for media in groups, and group members will be able to see who opened them in Message Info.
It is important to note that blocked contacts in common groups can also open those photos and videos.
Interestingly, the view once feature will also work on the apps of recipients that don’t have the feature enabled yet, although they can’t yet send “view once” items themselves.
This “view once” functionality WhatsApp started testing disappearing messages towards the end of 2020.
That feature has enabled WhatsApp beta testers to set a certain time after which messages in an individual or group chat disappear.
Messages sent and received after the feature is enabled can be set to self-destruct after 7 days or 24 hours of not opening WhatsApp.