WhatsApp is an instant messaging app that has now rolled out a new exciting feature where the shared photos will disappear automatically. The feature is known by the name of “View Once” which, by the name suggests, allows the receiver to view photos and videos in the chats only once before they disappear for good. This feature is also present in and is very similar to the disappearing media feature of Snapchat, Instagram, as well as Messenger. You cannot download the photos and videos that are secured by this feature on your Android, IOS, Whatsapp Web device. Your device will basically not show it more than once if the sender sent it under the View Once feature. WhatsApp now lets you send photos and videos that can only be viewed once by recipients.
This new feature was initially introduced to only iPhone users this Tuesday. But shortly after that, WhatsApp, or apparently Facebook, allowed the View Once feature for all its users, irrespective of the devices they use. The company was indulged in the testing of this feature for quite some time now so as to enable users to send media that cannot be viewed more than once by the receiver. But there’s a drawback to it, as it cannot restrict the receiver to take a screenshot of the photos and save them on his device. WhatsApp regularly adds new features so as to stay ahead of its competitors and monopolize the market. So users get very handy chat features from time to time. These new features allow room for new functionality, tweak the interface or even enhance user privacy.
In July, WhatsApp ran tests for an upcoming multi-device feature in its beta version, and they were also treated with some end-to-end encrypted backup testing. And now, the company decided to launch the View Once feature for disappearing media for several user benefits. The anticipated ‘View Once’ feature earlier was only available for iPhone users and that too version 2.21.150 in India. But now Android users have started to appreciate the new feature as well. Once you get the ‘View Once’ feature, all you need to do to enable this feature on your device is to enable the disappearing of the photo or video before sending it to your contacts by tapping the new ‘1′ icon that appears next to the caption bar. The photos and videos shared after that will not be visible in the chats once the receiver has opened them.
They will disappear for both the sender and the recipient. Even the media content won’t be saved to the Gallery like it usually does, and that media cannot be forwarded as well. Also, if the recipient won’t open the photo or video received under this feature for 14 days, the median will automatically expire from the chat. Previously, reports have come of the beta version testing of the View Once feature by WhatsApp. On Tuesday, Facebook explained the thought behind this new feature in a blog post. While it seems that the main motive for launching this feature was user privacy by getting rid of messages after a certain period automatically, there is one more reason behind the View Once feature, and that is, keeping your phone tidy. Facebook also stated in that post that the photos and videos under the new feature will automatically expire if not opened for 14 days after sending.
But the limit to this feature is that anybody can easily store the media files from the backup option of the messages if it is unread at the backup time. Although once you have opened the photo or video file, there’s nothing you can do to restore it through backup. But considering that the receiver can still take a screenshot of the ‘View Once’ photos or capture these videos by using the default screen recording feature without the sender knowing, your media is not really safe. That’s why WhatsApp recommends sending media files under the View Once feature only if you trust the recipients. WhatsApp says that despite the ongoing trend of capturing photos and videos at commonplaces and almost everywhere, too much trash media can clutter your camera roll and fill your device.
This will be followed by storage management issues later, where you might have to sift through hundreds or thousands of photos and videos and then remove them one by one. We all know how inconveniently tedious it can all get, so WhatsApp already made a solution for this. In the same blog post by WhatsApp, it highlighted one of the key benefits of using the ‘View Once’ feature. It’s when users are sharing something sensitive like a Wi-Fi password or something that they don’t want to be stored on the recipient’s phone. You might also like to exploit this feature if you’re just sharing photos of something you’re checking at a store to get a quick reaction from the recipient. Since September last year, the company has been running tests on this new feature so that when users finally access it, they won’t have a single complaint from the feature.
In late June, the View Once feature ran tests on both Android and iOS devices. The company even tried to roll out this feature just for the sake of testing to WhatsApp Web users. Now how WhatsApp’s View Once feature actually works is, if you send a disappearing message in this app, you will get to see a ‘View Once’ icon on the media. When you receive the media, the preview won’t show up. After you have viewed it once, you won’t be able to open it again, similar to what happens in Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger. “After the media has been viewed, the message will appear as “opened” to avoid any confusion about what was happening in the chat at the time,” the company has declared. But before you try to access this View Once feature, you need to make sure if it is available on your WhatsApp or not.
And for that, you need to check if the 1 icon is present right next to the button of sending where you share the media with your contacts. If it is, then bravo you already have the view once feature on your device. But if you don’t see the icons, then it indefinitely means that you do not have the new feature yet, so update your WhatsApp maybe. Starting this week, WhatsApp is all set to launch its new feature. If you want it, see if you have the latest updated version of the app on your device.
Apart from this View Once feature, the app for iPhone users has also introduced a new style of in-app message notifications that removes the clutter and ultimately brings more focus to the message content. These new features allow room for new functionality, tweak the interface or even enhance user privacy. If you want it, just download the latest WhatsApp release through the App Store, and voila! The feature is compatible with all iPhone models running iOS 10.0 and later. For Android users, the updated WhatsApp version is available for everyone to download from the Google Play store.