Meta is introducing a View Once feature for WhatsApp on desktop and web, allowing users to send time-sensitive content.
The update was initially discovered by WABetaInfo as the tech giant is yet to formally announce it. Looking at WABetaInfo’s report, it’s basically the exact same feature on mobile. WhatsApp added View Once to its smartphone app in 2022 as a new privacy tool. Photos or videos sent to contacts this way cannot be saved. Once the recipient views the file, it is gone forever. This ensures that sensitive material is never seen by outside parties, shared with others, or at risk of being taken by a bad actor. Apparently this was in high demand, as WABetaInfo claims people were complaining about “the inability to send view-once messages” on the desktop. It seems Meta has heard the outcry, though it took the company more than a year to react.
There are some small details you need to know.
Recipients have 14 days to access the media, otherwise it will be automatically deleted. according to WhatsApp Help Center. The other person cannot take screenshots of the temporary content, but only if he or she has the latest version of WhatsApp installed. Others can take a screenshot of a View Once file if they are using outdated software. As a result, the company recommends sending content only to trusted individuals. There are plans to close the privacy gap, but there’s no word on when Meta will address this issue.
Please note that you cannot send multiple temporary images at once. You must send each file one by one. Moreover, as noted by Windows Central, you can rewatch temporary videos “as many times as you want”, but you must stay in the interface. If you click Play prematurely or exit the window, you will lose access.
The update will be available for both Windows and macOS users. WABetaInfo states that the update is being released in waves, meaning only a select group currently has access to it. We recommend that you keep an eye out for the patch when it arrives.
How to send View Once content
Sending a View Once photo is easy. After you launch WhatsApp on the desktop and select a chat, click the attachment icon next to the text box and choose an image. Above the send button is a number one in a disappearing circle. Clicking on that icon will activate the View Once feature. Send the photo to someone and it will be deleted as soon as it is closed.
WhatsApp on the web has a different layout, but luckily the process is exactly the same.
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