Facebook has announced that it is rolling out a new view once feature on WhatsApp which they claim would give users “more control over their privacy”.
When users share photos and videos on WhatsApp, they are automatically saved to the recipient’s camera roll. The view once feature allows users to send photos and videos that disappear from a WhatsApp chat after a recipient has opened it once. The users won’t be able to forward, save, star, or share the media that was sent as a view once media.
As soon as the media is viewed, the message will appear as “opened”, which helps to avoid any confusion about what was happening in the chat at the time. Users will only be able to see if a recipient has opened a view once photo or video if they have read receipts turned on.
Media that is shared using the view once feature will be marked with a “one-time” icon.
If a view once photo or video is not opened within 14 days of being sent, the media will expire from that chat. But it is possible to restore it from backup, if the message is unopened at the time of back up. If the photo or video has already been opened, then the media will not be included in the backup and cannot be restored.
Facebook assured that like all personal messages sent on WhatsApp, view once media is “protected by the end-to-end encryption”. Similar to all encrypted media on WhatsApp, it may be stored for a few weeks on WhatsApp’s servers after it has been sent.
The tech giant claims that they are rolling out new View Once photos and videos feature which disappear from the chat after they’ve been opened to give users even more control over their privacy.