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This article was published on August 4, 2021

WhatsApp’s ‘View Once’ feature for photos and videos is here

Improve privacy, save storage

WhatsApp’s ‘View Once’ feature for photos and videos is here
Napier Lopez
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Napier Lopez

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Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in his free time. Follow him on Twitter.

WhatsApp is joining the disappearing photos and videos club. The company today officially began rolling out a ‘View Once‘ feature that allows content to disappear from your phone. The feature had previously been available in beta, but is only now reaching more users.

As you might’ve guessed, you view the photo or video once, and poof! It’s gone. This new type of disappearing content will be labeled with a new icon denoting their ephemeral nature.

This has a few obvious benefits.

For one, not all photos are sent with the intention of remaining permanent; this helps the sender maintain some control over how long images are stored.

It also means you don’t have to waste precious storage on photos you’re almost certainly never going to look at again. I can see it being particularly useful for those group conversations you leave on mute indefinitely.

The images will only be accessible for 14 days after sending, after which they will expire. Keep in mind WhatsApp says it won’t let you know if someone takes a screenshot, and of course, there’s no way the app could know if someone is taking a photo with a physical camera.

For more on how to try View Once images and videos, check out our original writeup here, and WhatsApp has some extra specifics here. The feature is rolling out to iOS and Android this week, but keep in mind you’ll have to be on the latest version of WhatsApp to give it a try.

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