WhatsApp already offers a disappearing messages feature that deletes a sent message after a set amount of time. WhatsApp users can also send photos and videos that can only be viewed once before being erased from the chat. The latter feature, however, is currently available only to Android and iOS users. The feature was previously offered on desktop and Web versions of the application but was removed for security concerns. Now, a report suggests that the social media platform is reintroducing the “View Once” photos and videos feature for WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp desktop versions.
According to a WABetaInfo report, WhatsApp is rolling out the view once feature for photos and videos on Web and desktop versions of the app. In a screenshot shared in the report, the button to set the “view once” option for the media is seen within the caption bar in the drawing editor on the WhatsApp for Windows platform. The report added that the company is enabling this “view once” photos and videos option for Windows, macOS and linked devices like iPads. The app is also extending this feature to the WhatsApp Web platform, according to the report.
The feature is now rolling out to eligible users. It has already rolled out to some users over the past few weeks as per the report. If you do not see the option on any of your desktop or Web apps yet, it is likely to come around eventually. Make sure that the applications are updated to their latest versions.
The report noted that the Meta-owned platform is reintroducing this feature on desktop and Web that they initially did away with, upon public suggestions and demands. The initial removal cited security issues. Feedback from users, however, suggested that the “view once” feature is a helpful aspect as it helps one view a media file without it eating up the storage space of the phone.
In related news, starting in December, WhatsApp backups on Android will continue to work, as long as users have available cloud storage space on their Google accounts. If someone reaches their storage limit, they will need to free up space on Google Drive to resume backups. Notably, if you do not want your chats to take up storage, you can turn on the “Disappearing Messages” option in the app.
WhatsApp has also added a service to prompt users to add their email address to their WhatsApp account. However, it will not be visible to your WhatsApp contacts but will rather work as a secondary identifier, after your phone number, where the app can send verification codes and the like.