WhatsApp is rolling out a feature that allows users to have photos or videos vanish after they are seen.
WhatsApp has finally added the disappearing photos feature to the stable version of the app. The feature is known as ‘View Once’ and is similar to how Instagram’s expiring media feature works. When you send a photo using this feature, then it will disappear once the receiver opens it and leaves the chat. But, you will have to select View Once media each time you want to send a view once photo or video. Keep reading to know more.
Much like vanishing messages on other apps such as Snapchat, however, it is possible for a user to take a screenshot or screen recording of the message when it is first opened - or to film one screen with another camera.
The feature also comes with limitations:
The photos will not be saved in a phone's gallery app
The media cannot be forwarded, saved, shared, or starred
It will expire if not opened within two weeks
WhatsApp is marketing view once as a privacy feature for regular consumers, saying it could be used for throwaway yet personal photos - when trying on clothes in a shop and asking a partner how they looked, for example, or sending someone a password.
While it is impossible to refrain from it -- for most, we should say -- the whole thing is rather anti-privacy because our phones are mostly anti-privacy. Once something is in a phone, there is always a risk of it falling into the wrong hands, whether you know whose hands they are or not.
Probably, this is the reason why WhatsApp, even as it rolls out View Once, warns users to "only send photos or videos with the view once media enabled to trusted individuals."
WhatsApp said the feature was aimed at "giving users even more control over their privacy".
However, child protection advocates have expressed concern that auto-vanishing messages could help cover up evidence of child sexual abuse.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) is already at odds with WhatsApp's parent company Facebook over the use of encrypted messaging.
Such encryption means police cannot see the messages "in transit" - only the sender and receiver can. But auto-deleting messages could mean that devices seized in police raids would no longer contain evidence either.
Why you should send media using ‘View Once’ feature to ‘trusted’ users?
WhatsApp allows anyone to take a screenshot or screen recording of the media before it disappears. Additionally, the individual won’t get notified if someone takes a screenshot or screen recording.
WhatsApp also warns that one can even take a photo or video of the media with a camera or other device before it disappears. The company says “Encrypted media may be stored for a few weeks on WhatsApp’s servers after you’ve sent it.”
How to send View Once media on WhatsApp?
Step 1: Open WhatsApp and tap on the attachment icon.
Step 2: Then, go to Gallery and select the photo or video you want to send to your contact.
Step 3: After selecting it, you will see a clock-like icon in the ‘Add a caption’ bar, just tap on it to enable the View Once feature. Once you enable it, the app will show a message saying “Photo set to View Once.” You can then send disappearing photos to your friends and family members.