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WhatsApp “View Once” Feature Brings Disappearing Photos and Videos

WhatsApp taking inspiration from Snapchat? But the “view once” feature will expire within two weeks, it remained unopened.

WhatsApp "View Once" Feature Brings Disappearing Photos and Videos
WhatsApp "View Once" Feature Brings Disappearing Photos and Videos

Facebook-owned WhatsApp is all set to launch a feature that will allow its users to send “view once” messages in chats. This new “view once” feature also brings disappearing photos and videos to your chats.

A few months ago, this new Snapchat-like feature was previously available for WhatsApp beta version but now, it’s available for everyone including both Android and iOS devices. After the recipient opens the image for the first time, “view once” deletes it, without saving it to a phone.

WhatsApp is advertising view once as a consumer privacy feature, claiming that it can be used for casual or private photos – such as trying out clothes in a store and asking their partners about how they look and sharing and sharing confidential information like your passwords.

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After taking a lot of criticism since their privacy renewal, WhatsApp has lost millions of users. Now, they are more focused on launching user-friendly features. About three weeks ago, WhatsApp launched a feature that will let users send messages without linking their device to a PC

If you look at Snapchat, users are able to take screenshots and screen recordings. The same is the case here, users might still be able to do that. This view once features should include Netflix-like the feature that doesn’t let you take screenshots or screen recordings.

The feature also comes with limitations:

  • The photos will not be saved in a phone’s gallery app
  • The media cannot be forwarded, saved, shared, or starred
  • It will expire if not opened within two weeks
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WhatsApp said the feature was aimed at “giving users, even more, control over their privacy”. However, according to BBC, However, child protection advocates have expressed concern that auto-vanishing messages could help cover up evidence of child sexual abuse.

“This view once feature could put children at even greater risk by giving offenders another tool to avoid detection and erase evidence, when efforts to combat child sexual abuse are already hindered by end-to-end encryption,”

Alison Trew – The Charity’s Senior Online Safety Officer

Source: BBC

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) is already at odds with WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook over the use of encrypted messaging.

Such encryption means police cannot see the messages “in transit” – only the sender and receiver can. But auto-deleting messages could mean that devices seized in police raids would no longer contain evidence either.

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Written by Hammad Khalid

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