Last year we learned that WhatsApp was working on an auto-expiring media feature that would allow users to send photos and videos that disappear automatically once viewed. Earlier in June, WhatsApp started testing the feature with a small set of users. After spending over a month in beta testing, the auto-expiring media feature is finally going live for all users.
In a blog post on Tuesday, WhatsApp announced the wider rollout of the “View Once” feature. As the name suggests, the feature lets users send a photo or a video that disappears after the recipient opens it once. Media sent with the View Once feature won’t be saved in the recipient’s gallery and can only be viewed once. Similarly, you also can’t star or forward a disappearing photo/video. If you don’t open a disappearing message within 14 days, it will automatically expire.
The View Once feature comes quite handy if you want to share something sensitive like a password, for example. However, WhatsApp notes that recipients can still take screenshots or a screen recording before the media expires, so users are still advised to be careful when sharing something sensitive.
When sharing a photo or video with someone, you will see a small “View Once” icon beside the send button. When you tap on it, a pop-up appears on the screen that reads “Photo set to view once.” The View Once icon at the bottom also turns green to indicate that you’re sharing disappearing media.
Of course, WhatsApp is not the first to offer a disappearing media feature; it’s merely catching up to Telegram and Instagram in this regard.
The View Once disappearing media feature is rolling out to WhatsApp users with the latest stable update. To try it out, update your WhatsApp app from the Google Play Store or download the latest APK from APKMirror.