First look at WhatsApp's View Once media feature

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 1, 2021

WhatsApp is rolling out a new feature to its beta client currently that enables users of the messaging service to send media that recipients may view once only.

Media, photos or video files, that users include in messages to others have no view limitation or expiration date in WhatsApp. Recipients may save media that is sent to them so that they can keep the image or video files indefinitely.

View Once is a new feature that gives senders more control over the media that they include in their messages. The feature landed in WhatsApp version

whatsapp view once

It becomes visible on the "add a caption" and filters screen after you have selected media for sending. A new 1-icon is displayed on the right side of the caption field. Activate it to make the selected file a view once file.

WhatsApp displays an overlay on first use of the feature that explains the functionality.

Send photos and videos that can only be viewed once

For more privacy, your photo or video will disappear from chat after the recipient opens it once. Remember, people can always take screenshots.

The photo or video is deleted automatically by WhatsApp once it is opened by the user. View once works for individual chats and group chats. If you have enabled notifications, you will be informed when the media has been accessed by the recipient.

WhatsApp notes that using view once is not a 100% secure option to make sure that media is viewed once only and not saved. Users may capture screenshots of the media, or use another device to capture the "view-once" video or photo.

WhatsApp introduced a disappearing messages feature last year that users of the service may enable to have their messages deleted automatically after seven days. The feature can be enabled for individual contacts only by tapping on the name of the contact in WhatsApp chat and toggling the "disappearing messages" option on the preferences page that opens.

The view once feature will be introduced soon in non-beta versions of WhatsApp.

Closing Words

All WhatsApp users may use the view once media sending feature soon to limit the viewing of specific media. Will it become a popular feature? What is your take on it?

First look at WhatsApp's View Once media feature
Article Name
First look at WhatsApp's View Once media feature
A first look at the new View Once feature in WhatsApp that enables users of the messaging service to send photos and videos that are removed after the first view.
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  1. Steve said on July 4, 2021 at 9:35 am

    The only positive for this naive auto-delete function is saving storage space. Specifically,
    people using WA a lot. They end up without storage space by the horde of BS videos, memes, and irrelevant photos shared. Of course, probably the dumbdumbs spreading that content won’t use the new function. So there you have it: much ado about nothing.

  2. Nana said on July 1, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    Whenever I see something like this function, I think it’s a) going to mean that fb or who-or-whatever keeps its copy of the file forever, clandestinely and/ or b) someone will capture the screen easily enough if they simply know how but that c) some guy old enough to know better will use it to send **** pix to an underage target and ‘get away with it’.

  3. Enrique Montero said on July 1, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    Amazing feature, now this is the reason WhatsApp should be trusted! especially their US government funded E2EE implementation like it is Signal Protocol and Zuckerberg inc which obviously wants the best for everyone in the world!
    You know, the nice big tech social media CEOs like Jack Dorsey, when he endorses Signal messenger and he is the first one who obviously doesn’t want you to exist and have privacy and secrecy.

    It looks like garbage anyway, like it will not stop Facebook getting information about you and knowing who you are at all times, only because you can only view a picture once, also, it doesn’t mean anyone can’t grab it because that’s how crap WhatsApp is.

    You still need a phone to have desktop app, you still can’t have group call in the desktop app (only 1:1 calls), it is still owned by Facebook and you still are agreeing to share information with Facebook even if that has existed since like 6 years ago.

    Unless you live in a stupid country that uses WhatsApp for everything because they got brainwashed to use it, like Latinamerican countries, there shouldn’t be a reason to promote it at all.

  4. Paul(us) said on July 1, 2021 at 11:34 am

    “The photo or video is deleted automatically by WhatsApp once it is opened by the user.”
    Does this mean completely military-grade totally deleted or it’s standing for maybe even years on the server from Facebook and will Facebook sell the picture to a third person?

    “Users may capture screenshots of the media, or use another device to capture the “view-once” video or photo.”
    so this is actually a totally superfluous function because the photo can be duplicated!

    A pure bling function that makes the application slower and slower.
    A kind of azure effect. Giving a great software package so many bells and whistles that the software starts behaving slower than a snail.

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