For the past month or so, WhatsApp has been testing the ability to send "view once" photos and video via the WhatsApp Beta app on Android and iOS. The implementation works similarly to Snapchat where it autonomously deletes the media file as soon as it has been viewed. The new capability comes as a part of the Disappearing Messages initiative the company announced back in November 2020.
Today, Facebook has announced that following its graduation from beta testing, support for view once media content is rolling out to all users this week. In our testing, it is already available on WhatsApp Web and our Android devices. You can find out how to utilize the capability in our guide here or check it out in the announcement tweet from the company below:
New feature alert!— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) August 3, 2021
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
Some use-cases that the company has highlighted for this feature are the sharing of Wi-Fi passwords or reacting to some opportune event. It is important to note that while view once media can't be saved to the gallery, forwarded, starred, or shared, it can still be saved as a screenshot or screen recording. Furthermore, if you don't open it within 14 days, it will be automatically deleted and can only be restored from a backup if it was unopened. Furthermore, WhatsApp will also receive the media if someone decides to report a particular piece of view once content.