Latest Tech Update: WhatsApp ‘view once’ messages are rolling out – here’s how they work

Do you know WhatsApp has added a disappearing photos feature to its app? If the view once button is not visible to you when sharing the media with anyone, then it means that you haven't received the feature. Read about this new whatsapp feature below.

Latest Tech Update: WhatsApp ‘view once’ messages are rolling out – here’s how they work

WhatsApp is rolling out the disappearing photos feature for beta users, which is known as ‘View Once.’ This is similar to how Instagram’s expiring media feature works. A photo will disappear once the receiver opens it and leaves the chat. The feature is currently available for Android WhatsApp users.

Just last week, a massive LinkedIn data leak gave a hacker access to information from more than 90% of all accounts on the huge network. The more tools that the countless online services we use every day provide to keep us safe, the better. That is why WhatsApp ‘view once’ messages are such a welcome addition to the chat app.

As spotted by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp beta testers on Android now have access to a new ‘view once’ mode that wipes any message or piece of media you send after someone views it. You will receive a notification once the message has been viewed. After the recipient closes out of the message, it will be erased. Every Android beta tester should have access to the feature as of today.

The feature works for videos, photos and GIFs. If the view once button is not visible to you when sharing the media with anyone, then it means that you haven’t received the feature. One will find this feature in WhatsApp’s 2.21.14.3 Android version. To send a photo/video in View Once mode, WhatsApp user needs to first select the media and tap on the clock-like icon. It will be available near the ‘Add a caption’ bar. WhatsApp will notify the sender when the recipient opens the media.
Once the media is opened, WhatsApp will display the following message to the recipient: “This Photo is set to view once. For more privacy, this photo will disappear after you close it”.

How to use WhatsApp ‘view once’ messages

If you have WhatsApp Beta installed on your Android device, you should see a new view once button in the text entry field next to the send button. It looks like a timer, with the number “1”  in the middle surrounded by a half-solid circle. If you tap that button before you send a message, WhatsApp activates view once mode. It will then erase the message after one view.

It’s worth noting that these view once messages are different than disappearing messages. When you turn on disappearing messages, WhatsApp will delete chats within seven days. Both features address privacy concerns, but they are unique tools that can be used together or separately.

WABetaInfo notes that there are a few important caveats worth knowing before using view once mode. First, even if you disable read receipts on WhatsApp, that won’t stop others from seeing if someone has seen a view once message. The recipient can also take screenshots and recordings of the message, so make sure you’re sending them to people you trust. Finally, view once messages will still work even if the recipient doesn’t have access to the feature yet.

What else you need to know before using this WhatsApp feature

The cited source says that if you disable read receipts, the recipient will still be able to see if you have opened the photo or video set to view once, but you won’t be able to check when the recipient opened your image.

If you are sharing a disappearing image in a group, then you will be able to see when other participants are opening expiring photos even if you have disabled read receipts. It should be noted that the recipient might be able to save the photo or video using screenshot or screen recording features, and WhatsApp won’t even notify you because there is no screenshot detection.

You are allowed to share photos and videos using the ‘View Once’ button in groups, and you will be able to see who all opened them in the “Message Info” section. “Blocked contacts in common groups can still open those photos and videos. In fact, they cannot message or call you but they can still interact with you in groups,” WaBetaInfo said.

If you send a photo using View Once button to anyone who hasn’t enabled this feature, then the feature will still work. Besides, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently confirmed the existence of this feature and also hinted that it will be available for everyone soon. So, the public release of this feature is expected to happen soon.

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