WhatsApp for Android getting View Once feature for photos and videos

WhatsApp now lets you send messages that self destructs after being viewed once.

Highlights
  • WhatsApp is testing a new ‘view once’ mode for photos/videos in the latest beta version for Android. 
  • The media in question will automatically expire once the recipient has viewed it. 
  • WhatsApp lets you take screenshots of the media in question and the feature also works for people on older versions of the messaging app. 

WhatsApp lets users send ‘disappearing messages’ to one other via a previous update. It essentially deletes a message from both the sender and recipient’s phones after a designated time period. Now, the latest WhatsApp beta version for Android is expanding that to photos and videos. The key difference here is that the media in question expires after being viewed once. Wabetainfo found that the WhatsApp View Once feature was being tested in the Android version of the app. It could be a while before the feature makes it to a final version of the messaging app, though. It is excellent for sending sensitive content that the sender doesn’t want the recipient looking at more than once. Here’s what it looks like:

As shown in the screenshot above, the recipient will be notified that a photo/video in question has been set to ‘view once’. Once the recipient opens the said media file, the sender will get notified that it has been opened. Alternatively, if the recipient is yet to open it the usual settings apply i.e, blue ticks for when you have read receipts enabled and regular double ticks otherwise. Interestingly enough, WhatsApp also lets you forward a view once message to a group. You will be able to see who viewed the message from the ‘message info’ tab. It also works for people on older versions of WhatsApp. 

In its current form, users can still take a screenshot of the media in question, thereby defeating the purpose of self-destructing messages completely. However, this could change once the feature hits the retail version of WhatsApp in the near future. WhatsApp competitors like Telegram and Signal already have measures in place that disallow screenshots/screen recording of media earmarked as ‘view once’, so it shouldn’t be terribly difficult for WhatsApp to implement similar measures.