WhatsApp View Once

WhatsApp is finally adding a feature that fans of the messaging app wanted. You can now send disappearing messages in the Facebook-owned chat app, as announced by the company on its blog.

If you want to share something spicy but only want it to hang around for a single view, the new View Once option within the app is exactly what you need.

How “View Once” Works in WhatsApp

While this feature came to other messaging apps a long time ago, it at least seems that WhatsApp has done a decent enough job implementing View Once. Content shared with the new option shows a new icon that lets both parties know that they can only look at it once before it’s lost to history.

The new feature is helpful because you can send photos or videos that you’d prefer someone not keep forever. I’ll let your imagination tell you what sorts of pictures and videos those might be. You can also use it to share photos on which neither party will want to waste storage space.

When you send an image with View Once, the receiver has 14 days to take a look before it expires.

The implementation isn’t perfect, though. For example, WhatsApp says it won’t let you know if the other person takes a screenshot. That means they could easily keep your temporary photo forever without you knowing.

As you might expect, you can’t forward, save, star, or share images received with this new feature, as that would defeat the entire purpose.

How to Send a Disappearing Message in WhatsApp

Using the feature is easy enough. First, you’ll need to update your WhatsApp app to the latest version on iPhone or Android. Unfortunately, it is continuing to roll out gradually, so there’s a chance it may not be available for you even if you’ve updated your app.

Open the contact or group you’d like to send a disappearing message to, and then select the image from your photo library or take a photo with the camera.

Once you’ve decided which image or video you’d like to share, tap the “1” icon in the text box. Acknowledge the warning message that pops up, and your temporary message will send.

This update brings WhatsApp back to the same level as some of its competitors in terms of features, as Telegram was quick to remind everyone that it had disappearing messages back in 2017.

RELATED: The 5 Best Alternatives to WhatsApp

Profile Photo for Dave LeClair Dave LeClair
Dave LeClair was the News Editor for How-To Geek. He is now a Mobile Analyst for PCMag. Dave started writing about technology more than 10 years ago. He's written articles for publications like MakeUseOf, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and plenty of others. He's also appeared in and edited videos for various YouTube channels around the web.
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