WhatsApp has announced the launch of View Once, a feature that lets you send photos or videos which can only be opened once before they are deleted.
Once the recipient of the photo or video exits the media viewer, it will no longer be visible in that chat, and they can’t view it again.
View Once photos and videos aren’t saved to the recipient’s Photos or Gallery, and they can’t forward, save, star, or share them.
WhatsApp has been beta testing the feature since the end of June.
It augments WhatsApp’s existing disappearing messages functionality, which was launched towards the end of 2020.
Those running the latest version of WhatsApp can send view once media by following these steps:
- In any chat, tap the camera to take a photo or video, or tap attach to select media to upload from your device.
- Tap the new “1” icon that appears next in the message text box.
- Tap send.
Videos recorded using WhatsApp are limited to 16MB.
WhatsApp said you would see an opened receipt in the chat once the recipient has viewed the photo or video, provided they have read receipts turned on.
If you don’t open the photo or video within 14 days of it being sent, the media will expire from the chat.
You must select view once media each time you want to send a view once photo or video.
WhatsApp warned that view once media can be restored from backup if the message is unopened at the time of back up.
If the photo or video has already been opened, the media will not be included in the backup and can’t be restored.
WhatsApp also noted that encrypted media might be stored for a few weeks on WhatsApp’s servers after you’ve sent it.
If a recipient reports view once media, it will be sent to WhatsApp.
It also warned that someone could take a screenshot, screen recording, photo, or video of the media before it disappears.
“You won’t be notified if someone takes a screenshot or screen recording,” said WhatsApp.
“Only send photos or videos with view once media enabled to trusted individuals.”
New feature alert!
You can now send photos and videos that disappear after they’ve been opened via View Once on WhatsApp, giving you more control over your chats privacy! pic.twitter.com/Ig5BWbX1Ow
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) August 3, 2021