WhatsApp launched a much-needed privacy feature: disappearing messages, in November 2020. While the functionality was originally restricted to just one choice (disappearing after 7 days), WhatsApp eventually enhanced it to enable messages to disappear after 24 hours or 90 days.
According to WABetaInfo, the corporation is now working on an extreme version of the vanishing message – a message that can only be read once before disappearing for both the sender and the receiver.
The new functionality is available in the most recent WhatsApp beta for Android, version 18.104.22.168. Once you send such a message, the receiver is unable to share or forward it.
It should be noted that WhatsApp already offers this capability for photographs and videos; it is now being extended to text messages. When you send a view-once picture or video, the recipient cannot capture a screenshot of it; presumably, the same capability will also be available for view-once texts.
The view-once feature is activated for photographs and videos by selecting a photo or video to share and then pressing on the circular “1” symbol on the right side of the description box. There is presently a specific send button icon with an extra padlock for text messages, however, the design may change once the capability is released from beta.
Given that the functionality is now available in WhatsApp beta, it’s realistic to anticipate it to appear in a future release, but there are no assurances.
View-once messages are handy when you want to communicate content that only the intended recipient should view. While they are preferable to conventional texts where privacy is a concern, you should be mindful that the receiver may still maintain a copy, for example, by snapping a snapshot of the phone’s display with another phone.