Join us at TNW Conference 2021 for insights into the future of tech →

The heart of tech


How to send ‘view once’ images on WhatsApp

Snap and gone

How to send ‘view once’ images on WhatsApp
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff.

Last year, WhatsApp rolled out an ephemeral messages feature. However, those messages were visible to the other person for seven days, and that’s quite a lot of days for information you want to disappear.

The company has been working on a feature that lets you send ‘view once’ photos and videos, and now it’s rolling it out to beta versions of the app across platforms.

Here’s how you can use it:

  • Download the beta version of the Android app  — beta testing program on iOS is closed — or wait for the feature to roll out to the stable version.
  • Go to the contact or group you want to send this one-time disappearing image to
  • Select the image from the library or take a snap from the camera
  • Tap on the icon displaying ‘1’ in the text box
WhatsApp's 'view once' image feature
WhatsApp’s ‘view once’ image feature
  • The person you sent it to will then get this image, without any preview, and will only be able to view it once — as compared to regular images

As WhatsApp’s information label about the feature notes, anyone can take a screenshot of the image you sent and preserve it forever. However, if they exit the window, the image is gone.

This is a handy feature for sensitive images or documents you want someone to look at, but not leave a trace. Happy messaging.

Also tagged with