This WhatsApp message will self-destruct in 5… 4… 3…
The new feature is available for beta testers on Android today, say the reliable folks over at WABetaInfo. It works exactly as you expect it to: messages set to ‘view once’ can be opened and viewed only once before becoming unviewable. Videos and images can be sent using ‘view once’ as well, and senders are notified when a recipient opens their message.
So it’s kind of like Snapchat, but for WhatsApp. Because it wouldn’t be a Facebook company without borrowing someone’s notes, right?
Still, it’s handy enough, and is definitely more useful than the ‘disappearing messages’ feature. However, it shares some of that tool’s shortcomings.
Firstly, there’s nothing stopping someone from screenshotting one of these messages, which kind of undoes the entire point of a ‘view once’ system. Secondly, WABetaInfo notes that if you’ve turned your ‘read receipts’ off, while you won’t be able to see when your mate has opened one of your ‘view once’ messages, they can still see when you’ve opened one of theirs. And on group chats everyone will be able to see when anyone has opened one of these messages.
So yeah. It’s not fully-proofed just yet, but the point of a beta test is to iron out those kinks. Hopefully. And even if it remains flawed, at least it’ll still be a better addition to WhatsApp than Shops.