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Understand WhatsApp’s View Once Feature That Makes Photos, Videos Disappear

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WhatsApp View Once Feature

WhatsApp launched a disappearing feature that it calls View Once. The feature automatically deletes videos and photos on phones.

“You can now send photos and videos that disappear from your WhatsApp chat after the recipient has opened them once,” said WhatsApp.

What It Means:

WhatsApp users can send ‘View Once’ photos and videos to recipients, and the recipient will only see it once.

After a recipient opens or sees the photos or videos, the feature automatically deletes them from the recipient’s phone.

According to WhatsApp, “While taking photos or videos on our phones has become such a big part of our lives, not everything we share needs to become a permanent digital record. On many phones, simply taking a photo means it will take up space in your camera roll forever.”

“That’s why today we’re rolling out new View Once photos and videos that disappear from the chat after they’ve been opened, giving users even more control over their privacy.”

How It Works:

It works like on Instagram. When a sender sends the picture or video with the feature, the receiver needs to tap and see it.

The recipient needs to tap the “Photo” or “Video” button to see the image or video.

“After the media has been viewed, the message will appear as “opened” to avoid any confusion about what was happening in the chat at the time.”

Then, once he or she closes it, he will no longer access the videos or photos anymore.

Uses Of The View Once Feature:

WhatsApp said the View Once Feature is for sending classified media such as pictures and video clips.

The messaging app said the feature allows people to send sensitive pictures and videos to trusted people.

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This feature is essential especially in these days when private photos and videos of people go viral on social media.

“For example, you might send a View Once a photo of some new clothes you’re trying on at a store, a quick reaction to a moment in time, or something sensitive like a Wi-Fi password.”

It said it introduced the feature as its promise of “giving users even more control over their privacy”.

Eligibility For the Feature:

WhatsApp says the  ‘View Once’ feature is only available on the latest version of WhatsApp.

How to Activate the View Once Feature:

You can activate the feature by tapping an icon in the text bar before sending your message.

When sending a photo or video, you can make it view once by tapping the “1” button to the left of the send button.

Also, the recipient will see and know that it’s a disappearing photo or video that you have sent to them.

You can send a View Once message in both individual and group chats.

FaceBook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, in June, confirmed the updates.

He had reveal that “view once” and “disappearing mode” features are ready.

He said, In the future, a new “disappearing mode” will let you turn on disappearing messages across all chat threads.

What You Must Know about The View Once Feature:

WhatsApp explains the following about the View Once Feature:

Media will not be saved to the recipient’s Photos or Gallery.

Once you send a view once photo or video, you won’t be able to view it again.

You can’t forward, save, star, or share photos or videos that were sent or received with view once media enabled.

You can only see if a recipient has opened a view once photo or video if they have read receipts turned on.

If you don’t open the photo or video within 14 days of it being sent, the media will expire from the chat.

You must select view once media each time you want to send a view once photo or video.

View once media can be restored from backup if the message is unopened at the time of back up. If the photo or video has already been opened, the media will not be included in the backup and can’t be restored.

Implication For You:

The new features means that shared photos and videos will not be saved in both the sender and receiver’s phone’s gallery app.

The recipient can only view the photo or video once and they will disappear immediately after they close it.

The photos and videos will not appear as preview on your phone’s notification shade or on the lock screen.

Also, you cannot forward, save, share or star the photos or videos.

Meanwhile, they will expire if a receiver fails to open them within two weeks.

Additionally, this feature will save you space on your phone’s memory.

Such varnishing feature photos or videos you receive will no longer save automatically on your phone.

However, a receiver can take a screenshot or screen recording of the message when it is first opened – or to film one screen with another camera.

Also, WhatsApp won’t notify the sender if  the receiver screenshots the image or records the video using another device.

This is because the View Once media won’t be visible to WhatsApp because people send it with end-to-end encryption.

However, If you send a video or photo and someone reports it, WhatsApp will be able to see the content anyways.

Anthony Chinonso Ogbonna is the editor of Techuncode media. He is a seasoned journalist whose stint cuts across broadcast, print and, especially, the online media. A graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Anthony holds a Masters Degree in Multimedia Journalism. He aligns his belief with those of world tech communities, holding tenaciously that the world is solely driven and can only be best with tech. Furthermore, Anthony believes that technology is simple, fun and is not what one, especially Africans, should be scared of, hence, his passion for telling compelling stories about tech in ways relatable to the ordinary user. He has his hobbies in reading and designing (new hobby though.)

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