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(Pocket-lint) - WhatsApp recently revealed it'd let users send disappearing photos and videos. Now, it's rolling out the feature to everyone.

Any user of the Facebook-owned messaging app can share a photo or video, but if they select the new “view once” mode before sending, WhatsApp will limit the recipient to a single viewing before the media disappears for good. For you (the sender), the media will show up as opened after it's been viewed once. This feature is handy if you're, say, sending a photo of a password or sending a sensitive video you don't want to be saved and shared with others.

The thing is, your recipient could always take a screenshot, so keep that in mind.

How does WhatsApp View Once work?

To send a WhatsApp photo or video that disappears after a single viewing, follow these quick-and-easy steps:

  1. Open an individual or group chat.
  2. Tap the Attach button.
  3. Then, tap:
    • Camera to take a picture with your camera.
    • Gallery to select an existing photo or video from your phone.
  4. Add your caption or filters, as desired.
  5. Tap the “1” button to the left of the send button. 
  6. Tap Send.

Note: You must select the "1" button every time you want to send a "view once" photo or video.

Anything else you should know?

Once you send a "view once" photo or video, you can't view it again. It also won't be saved to the recipient’s photos or gallery. In fact, no one can forward, save, star, or share photos or videos that are sent/received with "view once" enabled. And if you don’t open it within 14 days of being sent, it will expire from the chat. That said, "view once" media can be restored from backup - but only if the message is unopened at the time of backup.

You can find out more about "view once" from this WhatsApp FAQ page.

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 4 August 2021.