WhatsApp announced that it would soon let users send instant disappearing photos and videos. This week the feature will be rolling out to over 2 billion WhatsApp users worldwide.
The Facebook-owned messaging app allows anyone to share a photo and video in “view once” mode. This feature will allow for a single viewing of the media before it disappears. Shared media with “view once” selected, will be vanished after the intended audience takes one look and rolls down or up, or closes the app.
The company states that the WhatsApp View Once feature would be helpful for many purposes, even if they are not sending nudes. The company, however, mentioned in fine lines that the photos and videos shared in view once mode, will disappear after the recipient have a look, but that doesn’t mean someone can’t take a screenshot of them.
Such feature is quite useful in a situation when users need to share some sensitive information, like password, with anyone. Once viewed, the message would disappear from the recipient’s device. Users are also not allowed to copy such messages or forward the same with anyone.
Facebook says the new View Once feature is a step to give users “even more control over their privacy”. However, it’s sounding like a broken record since Mark Zuckerberg first declared a new “privacy-focused vision” for the company back in 2019. Facebook has made a few gestures toward letting people wrest control of their online privacy since then, streamlining audience controls on its core app and enabling disappearing messages in WhatsApp; all thanks to a whopping $5 billion fine slapped on Facebook over privacy issues.
The company has been very vocal about its plans to bring end-to–end encryption to all of its messaging services. It also intends to make these services interoperable in the near future. WhatsApp introduced end-to-end encryption as a default feature in 2016. However, Messenger and Instagram may still require the privacy measure.
Earlier WhatsApp introduced similar feature, albeit with a longer duration for a message to disappear. In April, WhatsApp released an auto disappear feature.
WhatsApp View Once message feature is a page Facebook has taken from the book of Snap (earlier known as Snapchat).