WhatsApp goes after Snapchat with 'View Once' disappearing messages

Whatsapp Lifestyle
Whatsapp Lifestyle (Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The latest WhatsApp beta adds a new 'View Once' feature.
  • It allows users to send photos and videos that automatically disappear after the recipient views them.
  • The feature is currently available only on Android.

WhatsApp has rolled out a useful new feature called "View Once" with the latest beta version of its Android app. The feature was first revealed by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in an "unexpected" group chat with WABetaInfo earlier this month.

WhatsApp's View Once works similarly to Snapchat, one of the best messaging apps for Android. When you send a photo or video using the feature, it will be automatically deleted after the recipient views them once. You'll even be notified as soon as the recipient opens the file, as long as you have read receipts turned on. It is worth noting that the recipient can still save the photo or video by taking a screenshot or recording it using another device.

The feature is now available for all beta testers on Android. In the coming weeks, the feature is expected to make its way to the beta channel on iOS as well. If you have already joined the WhatsApp beta program, you should see a new View Once button when sharing media with a contact. While the ability to share photos and videos using View Once is currently limited to beta testers, the recipient doesn't need to be on the beta channel to view them.

View Once is an extension of the disappearing messages feature that WhatsApp rolled out last year. Currently, the feature can be enabled only for individual chat threads. In the near future, however, WhatsApp will let you turn on disappearing messages in all chat threads.

WhatsApp is also expected to roll out its much-anticipated multi-device support later this year. The feature is set to be rolled out in a public beta within the next month. Once it rolls out, you'll be able to link up to four devices to your WhatsApp account.

Babu Mohan
News Writer