WhatsApp launches its ‘View Once’ disappearing photos and videos

Technology

WhatsApp is rolling out its “View Once” feature today, which deletes photos or videos from your chat after they’ve been opened by the recipient. When sending a photo or video, you can make it view once by tapping the “1” button to the left of the send button. After the recipient opens it, it’ll be deleted. The recipient will be able to see that it’s a disappearing photo, so it’s still the type of thing you’d only want to use for people you trust to not take a screenshot.

In June, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that the feature would be coming, though details about when it would release were scarce. According to WaBetaInfo, the feature has been in beta for about a month.

As an example of how the feature could be used, WhatsApp uses the example of sending a photo of sensitive information, like a Wi-Fi password. Of course, there are perhaps other less wholesome uses for this kind of feature. But either way, it’s useful to have an option between the app’s disappearing messages, which currently only go away after a week, and your chat’s permanent record.