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WhatsApp is now testing view-once text messages

WhatsApp already offers view-once pictures and videos, but the new feature will apply to text messages, as well.

whatsapp icon on blurred smartphone background
Image: KnowTechie

WhatsApp is working on view-once text messages that disappear after the recipient has read them.

That new feature was noticed by WABetaInfo, inside the WhatsApp beta for Android 2.22.25.20. It is not live yet, so beta testers can’t send these new messages yet.

It’s literally a read-once and it disappears secret message. When opened, a pop-up reminds the user it can’t be shared, forwarded, copied, or saved.

View-once picture messages block screenshots. We expect view-once text messages will be the same.

whatsapp read once beta
Image: WABetaInfo

When using the feature, the send icon adds a padlock to the image. That lets you know you are sending a view-once message.

What we don’t know is how to get that special icon. Perhaps it will be a long-press on the send icon, or it will be on another menu option.

WABetaInfo notes that the feature isn’t live yet. A future update of WhatsApp will hopefully bring the feature to everyone.

View-once messages will be handy for content you don’t want showing in the message history.

View once images and videos already exist on WhatsApp

WhatsApp already has view once messaging. It works for photo and video content but not for text. It works similarly to Snapchat, the first social media to feature read-once messaging.

Text messages also have auto-delete options, but the shortest period is 24 hours. Other options are seven and ninety days.

WhatsApp users can set auto-delete as a default option. That’s great for privacy but not for using your message history as a memory reminder.

WhatsApp hasn’t said anything publicly about the upcoming feature.

If it follows the usual release habits, Android beta users will get view-once messaging first, then it will come to the main Android app. iOS, desktop, and web users will get it at some point after that.

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