While WhatsApp might not be the most feature-rich texting app available, it’s making steady progress in that regard. After introducing “disappearing messages” last year, the popular chat app is shipping a new “view once” feature this week.
As the name suggests, the view-once mode lets you send images or videos that can only be opened once. These messages are marked with “1” in the chat for the recipient’s knowledge. Similarly, once viewed, they’ll show up as “opened” as a heads-up for the sender (this won’t work if the recipient has “read receipts” disabled).
Moreover, you won’t be able to star, share, or forward such messages. Also, the unopened view-once messages will expire within 14 days after being sent.
This mode is useful for sharing and receiving temporary media without cluttering your camera roll. That’s because the app doesn’t automatically save the view-once media to your phone.
Steps To Send A “View Once” Message On WhatsApp
- Open a WhatsApp chat and tap on the attachment button or the camera button to capture/select media
- Tap on “Gallery,” then browse and select your picture/video
- Now, tap on the “1” next to the send button to share it as a view-once message.
Despite being a privacy-focused addition, this feature is still prone to screenshots. In other words, the receiver can easily take a screenshot of a view-once message without the sender knowing about it. Therefore, WhatsApp recommends sharing sensitive information only with your trusted contacts.
Just like other messages, the view-once messages are also end-to-end encrypted. However, a user can still report these messages to the chat app’s moderators.
All in all, the view-once mode is a nice option besides normal and disappearing messages. The latest feature brings flexibility for WhatsApp users who want to choose how they share their media.