Starting today, WhatsApp users can send and receive disappearing photos and videos through the “view once” mode that will allow a single viewing before the media vanishes.
As it stands, the media shared with “view once” selected will show up as opened after the intended audience takes a peek, and some WhatsApp users can now gain access to it.
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
Facebook says the new feature is a step to give users “even more control over their privacy,” a song it’s been singing since Mark Zuckerberg first declared a new “privacy-focused vision” for the company back in 2019. This being said, although the vanish mode will keep the media a secret after being opened, it will still allow the receiver to take a screenshot of the same. However, the sender will not get a notification if the receiver takes a screenshot or uses screen recording, unlike Snapchat that notifies users.
To use the feature, open a chat, select the photo or video you want to send, and click on the circle with ‘1’ in it on the text bar before sending. After the receiver opens the image or video, the file will disappear instantly.
A broad rollout of the feature is expected in the coming days, and users must ensure that they are using the latest version of WhatsApp. As per users’ replies on Twitter, the feature is unavailable on iOS, and can’t be spotted on an iPhone either.