WhatsApp for iPhone Getting ‘View Once’ Feature for Photos and Videos


WhatsApp for iPhone now lets you send photos and videos that can only be viewed once by recipients. The new change is currently rolling out to the iPhone users through a new WhatsApp version that is available for download through the App Store. The update also changes the style of in-app message notifications. WhatsApp has been testing the ‘view once’ feature for some time to essentially enable photos and videos to disappear from the chat after they are viewed by the recipient. However, it doesn’t restrict people from keeping a record of the media content by simply taking their screenshots.

The anticipated ‘view once’ ephemeral messaging feature has started rolling out through WhatsApp for iPhone version 2.21.150 in India. Once you get the feature, you will be able to enable the disappearing of the photo or video before sending them to your contacts by tapping the new ‘1′ icon that appears next to the caption bar.

Photos and videos that are being shared using the ‘view once’ feature will no longer be visible in the chat where they were sent once the recipient exits the media viewer. The media content will also not be saved to the recipient’s Photos or Gallery, and they can’t forward them through the app. However, recipients can still take a screenshot of the ‘view once’ photos or capture these videos by using the default screen recording feature.

WhatsApp has been testing the feature since at least September 2020 to let users make their photos and videos disappear from the app once it is viewed by the recipients. It also entered the beta testing phase for both Android and iOS devices in late June. The Facebook-owned app also brought it to WhatsApp Web for some users last month.

Alongside the ‘view once’ feature, the updated WhatsApp for iPhone brings the new style of in-app message notifications that removes the clutter and brings more focus to the message content.

WhatsApp has clearly mentioned in the release notes that the new features will roll out over the coming weeks. This means that you may not receive them at the first glance and might have to wait for a few days to get them on your Apple device. We were also not be able to see the ‘view once’ feature available on our iPhone devices, though the updated in-app notification style was there on one of our units.

Meanwhile, you can download the latest WhatsApp release on your iPhone by going through the App Store. It is compatible with all iPhone models running iOS 10.0 and later.


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Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at [email protected] Please send in your leads and tips.
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