Apparently, WhatsApp wants to give users a little more control over the photos and videos they share on the messaging app. The company recently unveiled a new feature for iOS and Android beta testers that allows them to send disappearing messages. the “See Once” function was released to iOS users on Friday, shortly after it was released for Android users at the end of June. The feature allows users to send photos and videos that disappear from WhatsApp chats after being viewed once.
Very similar to the feature offered on Instagram and Facebook Messenger, although Instagram allows senders to allow recipients to view content again before it disappears. And of course, all of these features are based on the formula popularized by the original vanished media network: Snapchat: Based on the screenshots from WABetaInfo, the app won’t stop others from taking screenshots. The content is hidden in the sender’s chat and in the recipient’s chat if Show once is selected. Senders can see if their content has been viewed in chat by listening to an “open” message.
For Android users, the function was also available for group chats. “For privacy reasons, your photo or video will disappear from the chat once the recipient has opened it,” says the message that announces the function in the app. “Remember, people can always take screenshots. The outlet reports that WhatsApp does not notify users.
If the recipients took screenshots of your disappearing content, it explains that it is because there is no foolproof way to prevent users from taking screenshots and argues that it does would give users a false sense of security. Given the things people send in messages, even knowing that others might be taking screenshots, this is probably correct.