Before today, the photos and videos sent on Whatsapp, the Facebook-owned company, were not safe. People could view the images or videos whenever they wanted. They could take screenshots later. But not anymore. Finally, Whatsapp has brought into existence the concept of “view once” for photos and videos.
Now what is exactly this “view once” feature that the public is hyping about? The “view once” feature is basically a feature that enables the recipient to view the photos and videos sent to him only once. After they have been opened by the recipient, the photos and videos automatically delete themselves. This happens only if the sender of those photos and videos click on the “1” button to the left of the send button. Before opening an image, the recipient will be able to see that it’s a disappearing image. Doing so, the sender does not have to worry about people they do not trust taking a screenshot.
It was sometime in June that Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that this feature would be coming soon. However, the details about when it would be released were not sufficient enough to make an idea about its arrival. According to WaBetaInfo, this feature has been in beta for about a month or so.
There are a few examples about how this feature could be used. Supposedly, someone sends a photo of sensitive information to another person (let us assume that it is a wi-fi password). In this case, the recipient would not be able to take a screenshot of the picture and share it with someone else because just after viewing the image, it will get deleted automatically. Of course, there some other less wholesome uses of this new feature. But taking the interests of both the sender and the receiver, it is good to have an option between the application’s disappearing messages which usually go away after a week and the chat’s permanent record.
This “view once” feature is very similar to how the Instagram’s expiring media feature works. Whatsapp has promised that any photo or video which will be sent to the recipient via the “view once” feature will not be saved in the recipient’s Photos or Gallery. Once the “view once” photo or video is sent, Whatsapp will not be able to show it again. This messaging application will not allow any kind of save, star, forward or share the pictures and videos sent through the “view once” feature. Only if the recipient has his or her read receipts turned on can the sender understand if the photo or video has been opened or not. There is another aspect to this “view once” feature. If the media file is not opened within 14 days of receiving it, that particular media will expire from the chat. If the message is unread at the time of backup, it will be restored. Otherwise, the media will not be included in the backup and would not be restored by any means.