Now it’s official: Wastap announced today (Wednesday) that the option for one-time viewing of the photo and messages will reach all users of the app starting next week. As mentioned, these disappearing messages will allow app users to send photos and videos for one-time viewing, which will disappear from the conversation windows immediately after viewing them. This is expected to give users greater control over their privacy.
Facebook also mentioned a number of examples of possible uses for the new feature – like sending sensitive content like different passwords, or pictures of clothes you measure in the store. They also promised that even the content intended for one-time viewing is encrypted, and WhatsApp cannot see them. This content will be marked with a “one-time viewing” logo, and after opening and disappearing the media – they will be marked as an opened message.
Features included in the new feature:
- Media sent for one-time viewing will not be saved on the recipient’s device, and once sent – you will not be able to watch them for years.
- If you have received or submitted such content, you will not be able to transfer, save, share or star it.
- It will be possible to see if the one-time message has been opened – only if the recipient has activated read receipts.
- The content will expire if it is not opened within 14 days.
- If you want to send a photo or video for one-time viewing – you will have to select this option over and over again.
- Media set up for one-time viewing can only be restored from the backup, only if the message was not opened at the time of backup. If the message is opened – it will not be possible to recover it.
However, they have warned that a screenshot or recording of the screen may be made before the media disappears – in which case the user will not be notified. You can also take the picture or record the video using a camera or other device, before they disappear. Facebook further noted that the encrypted media may be stored on the app servers for several weeks, and if the recipient chooses to report media set for one-time viewing, the media will be transferred to WhatsApp.