A lot of people probably use messaging apps to send photos and videos to their friends, but not all of those media deserve to stay on our devices, taking up space and storage. WhatsApp will now make it easier for you to not have to manually delete some of those as you now have the option to send “View Once” photos and videos. The new feature seems similar to the disappearing media that some apps already have. This was previously confirmed to be coming soon to WhatsApp but now we have the official announcement that it’s here.
When sending a photo or video to someone that you don’t want to stay in your conversation, tap the 1 button to the left of the send button. This means that after the recipient opens the media you’re sending, it will be deleted. They will see that it’s a disappearing photo or video before they open it so they are aware it’s not something that you want them to save or screenshot. Of course nothing is stopping them from taking a screenshot so that’s something you have to consider before sending.
Some instances when you would need this feature is if you’re sending sensitive information like Wi-Fi password, bank account details, or other things that may be a security risk. This may probably be used for not so wholesome purposes but hey, as long as now law is being violated, that’s their business. This can also be used by people who don’t want the photos and videos saved on their phone when they use their camera, for storage reasons.
After the recipient has viewed the media, the message will appear as “opened” so both parties will know what happened. Instagram has a somewhat similar feature in the chats but you have the option to send the photo or video you took with the in-app camera to View Once, Allow Replay, or Keep in Chat. We don’t know if that will eventually become an option as well for WhatsApp but for now, the current version of the feature lets you choose the view once option for both those taken with the in-app camera and your gallery.
WhatsApp says they’re rolling out the View Once feature to everyone starting this week. If you’re still not seeing it, you’ll have to wait for the server-side update.