WhatsApp View Once may soon offer disappearing texts

WhatsApp is working on a new version of its ‘disappearing text messages’ feature, which would see the texts vanish immediately after being read.

While the current version of the feature enables users to set messages to disappear after 24 hours, 7 days or 90 days, that may soon change.

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According to WABetaInfo, the new feature in testing will ensure the message disappears for the sender and the recipient, as soon as that double blue tick arrives to show it has been read.

Right now WhatsApp lets users set photos and videos to view once, following in the footsteps of Snapchat. The idea is to use it to send more sensitive information. You can’t forward the image and you can’t take a screenshot/screen-recording of the media either. One would assume, if WhatsApp rolls this feature out to encompass text messages, the same principle would apply.

disappearing text

If the feature replicates the test screenshot posted by WABetaInfo, recipients will see a “text expired” notification once it has been read one time. “This text has expired, please ask *insert name* to resend it,” the message reads.

The screenshot also features a lock within the green send icon, which will signify the text being a view once text. It could be great if you’re looking to get something a little bit controversial off your chest without a digital paper trail, for instance.

Right now the workaround is to ‘delete for everyone’ but there’s nothing stopping a screenshot or a forwarded message in the interim, beyond the trust between sender and recipient. If WhatsApp clears this up, it could be a useful addition for users.

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