Not all photos or videos need to (or should) last forever in your camera roll. If you want to send photos that will be opened once and then disappear forever, you can now use WhatsApp to do it (like you already could on Snapchat and Instagram).
WhatsApp will now let you send any photo or video in a new “View Once” mode. It’s a simple feature, and not very customisable (you can’t choose a viewing window for the photo, for example). But once the recipient opens and views the media, then navigates away from it, the photo or video will be gone forever.
WhatsApp isn’t promoting this feature as a secure way to send photos, as WhatsApp won’t even notify you when the other person takes a screenshot of your photo — something that Snapchat and Instagram do. And using any app, the other person can always use a camera to take a photo of the screen itself. (Essentially, don’t use this to send sensitive photos.)
But it can be a great way to quickly share photos of your shopping list, the itinerary for a day out, or even passwords.
How to send disappearing messages in WhatsApp
To get started, make sure you’re using the latest version of WhatsApp. Then, either take a new photo to share, or add a photo from your library. When you’re previewing the photo, you’ll see a little “1” icon with a circle around it in the caption box. Just tap on it to activate the View Once mode. Then, tap the Send button.
When you receive a photo using the View Once feature, you’ll only see the word “Photo” in it, no preview. Tap the Photo button to see the media.
There won’t be a Snapchat-style timer counting down your window to view the image; you can keep staring at it as long as you like. But once you hit the back button, there’s no way to see it again.