WASHINGTON — Facebook-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp has finally rolled out the ‘View Once’ feature for iOS Beta users after months of testing. The disappearing message feature was in the works for quite some time.
The new feature is similar to snaps on Snapchat, and as per a media report, the attached images or videos will disappear after being viewed, which may prove good for confidential business-related chats.
Users who want to find out if the feature is available to them should look for an explanatory pop-up next time they send an image or clip. Reportedly, users will also see a blue-and-white ‘1’ icon in the caption text box.
The feature has already been rolled to WhatsApp beta testers on Android. New messages will automatically disappear from a device and also from a recipient’s device once opened as per a media report.
After deleting the content, a text reading ‘Opened’ will occur. Additional details like when it was delivered and seen could be found through the Message Info option. The setting will not affect messages sent or received prior to activation.
The new feature also has some drawbacks, as per technology experts.
For instance, a recipient can screenshot his or her phone to store the image despite the auto-delete feature. Additionally, if a user has the option of the read receipts disabled, the sender can still see whether the receiver has viewed a photograph or video. And blocked contacts can still see single-use attachments if they’re a part of a standard group.
WhatsApp had earlier retweeted the news regarding the rollout of the new feature.
As with any fleeting function, WhatsApp encouraged people to proceed with caution. It’s still possible to screenshot, copy, or take a photo of content before it disappears, and the platform requested users to think twice before exchanging confidential texts, personal photos, awkward sexts, and deciding to have sensitive discussions.
The new feature is currently rolling out to iOS beta users, and there is no information on when this new feature might roll out globally, neither is there any mention of a rollout to WhatsApp desktop as yet.
WhatsApp had introduced the disappearing message feature last year in November through a blog post.
“When disappearing messages are turned on, new messages sent to a chat will disappear after 7 days, helping the conversation feel lighter and more private. In a one-to-one chat, either person can turn disappearing messages on or off. In groups, admins will have the control,” the company said in the post.
(With inputs from ANI)
(Edited by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan and Praveen Pramod Tewari)
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