Have you recently noticed a tiny icon on your screen before you send through a photo or video on WhatsApp? Well, the popular messaging service has launched a new feature called ‘view once’ with the aim of encouraging more privacy.
This allows you to send photos or videos which can only be opened once before it’s deleted. Once the recipient of the image or clip exits the media, it will no longer be visible in the chat and cannot be viewed again.
New feature alert!
You can now send photos and videos that disappear after they’ve been opened via View Once on WhatsApp, giving you more control over your chats privacy! pic.twitter.com/Ig5BWbX1Ow
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) August 3, 2021
According to WhatsApp, ‘view once’ photos and videos are not saved to the gallery of the recipient and they won’t be able to forward, save, star or share it. It is, however, possible that the recipient can take a screenshot or screen recording of the media before it disappears, and unfortunately, you won’t be notified if someone follows this process.
The messaging service further cautions to send photos or videos with ‘view once’ media enabled to trusted individuals as someone can also snap a photo of the media using a camera or video recorder.
Here are a few key points, as outlined by WhatsApp, that you should take into consideration if you choose to make use of this feature:
- You can only see if a recipient has opened a view once photo or video if they have read receipts turned on.
- If you don’t open the photo or video within 14 days of it being sent, the media will expire from the chat.
- You must select view once media each time you want to send a view once photo or video.
- View once media can be restored from backup if the message is unopened at the time of back up. If the photo or video has already been opened, the media will not be included in the backup and can’t be restored.
- Encrypted media may be stored for a few weeks on WhatsApp’s servers after you’ve sent it.
- If a recipient chooses to report view once media, the media will be provided to WhatsApp.
If this feature is to your liking and you have the latest version of WhatsApp, then here are the steps to follow to ensure more privacy:
- In any chat, tap the camera to take a photo or video, or tap attach to select media to upload from your device.
- Tap the new “1” icon that appears next in the message text box.
- Tap send.