WhatsApp is working on expanding its ‘view once’ feature, which currently lets you send videos and photos that disappear after the recipient has viewed them, to include standard text-based messages. According to this report by WABetaInfo, there has been evidence of the in-development feature in the latest beta version of WhatsApp’s Android app, which might enable users to messages that can be viewed only once before disappearing.
Like the current “View Once” feature, this new feature can be useful for sending sensitive information that you don’t want a recipient to have ongoing access to, like a password or credit card details. WhatsApp already has a disappearing messages feature that allows you to set every message chat or group to disappear after a specific period of time. However, the new ‘View Once’ feature only applies to a specific message instead of a whole conversation. Also, in the new feature, a message will disappear after it is viewed, instead of after a set period of time.
Currently, WhatsApp prevents recipients from taking a screenshot of a piece of view once media if they’re using the most recent version of its app. But it’s unclear whether this same protection will be extended to text messages.
For photos and videos, the view-once functionality is enabled by choosing a photo or video to send, and then tapping on the encircled “1” icon on the right side of the caption prompt. For text messages, there’s currently a special send button icon with an added padlock, though the design may change once the feature comes out of beta.
WhatsApp has not yet officially commented on the report and therefore it is unclear when, or even if it might be officially available.
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