WhatsApp has rolled out a new feature for its iOS and Android users that will allow them to send images and videos that will disappear after they’ve been opened. This ‘View Once’ feature deletes the media file once the recipient sees it, like on Instagram and Snapchat.
WhatsApp assures that the “View Once” media is protected by end-to-end encryption so that even the platform does not have access to it. Such media files will be marked as “one-time,” and they will show an “opened” tag once viewed. WhatsApp further states that such media files will not be stored in the Gallery of the receiver. Users will not be able to forward, save, star, or share photos or videos sent or received with the “view once” feature.
If the receiver has turned on the read receipts option, then only can the sender find out if the file sent with the view once enabled has been opened or not. If the media file is sent with the view once the feature is not opened within 14 days of it being sent, it will “expire” from the chat. Notably, the sender must manually choose the view once feature every time they send an image or video.
WhatsApp reveals that view once media can be restored from back given that it is unopened at the time of back up. As per the company blog, “If the photo or video has already been opened, the media will not be included in the backup and can’t be restored.”