Facebook’s WhatsApp has begun rolling out its “View Once” feature, which enables users to delete photos or videos from their chat after they’ve been opened by the recipient, as it looks to better compete with photo messaging app Snapchat.
The company announced that this new disappearing photo and video option will see these visual elements auto-erase after they’ve been opened, “giving users even more control over their privacy.”
“As with all the personal messages you send on WhatsApp, View Once media is protected by end-to-end encryption so WhatsApp cannot see them. They will also be clearly marked with a new “one-time” icon,” Facebook says.
When photos and videos are shared on WhatsApp, they are automatically saved to a 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.
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.
This new feature is part of WhatsApp’s efforts to better compete with Snap Inc’s messaging app, known for its Stories feature that lets users post updates that disappear after 24 hours.