Facebook-owned messaging app, WhatsApp, has rolled out a new privacy feature to its iOS and Android applications.
The privacy feature, tagged “View Once” will allow WhatsApp users to send images and videos that will disappear after they’ve been viewed.
The “View Once” feature is programmed to delete the media file sent, once the recipient sees it. This feature is similar to one on Instagram and Snapchat.
The messaging app assures its users that the “View Once” feature does not break the already implemented end-to-end encryption, as the media sent using the feature is protected by end-to-end encryption, such that even the platform does not have access to it.
WhatsApp added that Such media files will be marked as “one-time,” and once it is viewed, it will show an “opened” tag.
WhatsApp also noted that media files shared with the “View Once” feature will not be stored in the Gallery of the receiver. Users will also not be able to forward, save, star, or share photos or videos that were sent or received with the “view once” feature.
Per the feature, the sender of the “View Once” media file would only be notified that the receiver has viewed the media file only if the receiver has the “read receipt” option turned on.
Also, if the media file sent with the view once feature is not opened within 14 days, the media file will “expire” from the chat.
Noteworthy to add, the sender has to manually choose the “View once” feature every time they send an image or video, as the feature can not be programmed to work automatically.
WhatsApp also reveals that “View once” media can only be restored from backups, provided that the media file 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,” WhatsApp said.