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  • Lawrence Ng

WhatsApp Rolls Out View Once Feature, But Disappearing Media Can Still Be Screengrabbed

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

Recently, WhatsApp launched a new feature called View Once, which lets you send photos and videos that will vanish from the chat after they have been opened.

Credit: WhatsApp

The online messaging company explained the rationale behind the latest addition, emphasising the importance of increased user privacy.

But even though people can send disappearing media, a screenshot can still be taken of the shared photos or videos before they expire. The platform also mentioned that the sender will not be notified if someone screenshots or screen records View Once media.

WhatsApp does not have any safeguards discouraging people from using another device to take photos or videos of the media before they lapse as well.

View Once is intended for delivering sensitive data like Wi-Fi passwords, or for photos and videos that serve a one-time purpose like reactions to specific messages and mundane activities such as trying on new clothes.

By default, WhatsApp autosaves received photos and videos to a person's Gallery. But it will not do that with disappearing media, keeping senders’ sensitive files safe.

Aside from that, the app prevents you from forwarding, saving, or sharing media that have the View Once function applied to them. Likewise, you will be unable to star View Once files.

Credit: NextPit

If you want to share a View Once file, then you have to configure that setting when you decide on which pictures or reels you want others to see for a limited time. You cannot convert images or clips into View Once media after they have been sent.

Another important thing to note is that you can only tell if someone viewed your expiring photos or videos if the recipient has enabled read receipts.

On the other hand, people who receive View Once media only have 14 days to open the files. After that, the photos or videos will be permanently removed from the chat.

Only unopened View Once files can be restored. Opened disappearing media can no longer be restored or become a part of the system backup.


Written by Sophia Lopez

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