WhatsApp's View Once Feature May Not Be All That Useful

  • Whatsapp
WhatsApp's View Once Feature May Not Be All That Useful

WhatsApp’s View Once feature purports to improve users’ privacy by making their messages self-delete after being viewed once, but it’s functionally is more akin to lip service.

The View Once option for WhatsApp has been available for Android since June 2021, and has just begun testing on iOS, giving users the ability to toggle the setting before sending anything. Enabling View Once will cause the message to delete itself after the recipient views it, so they can’t go back and check the message again later. It sounds like a straightforward way to address privacy, in theory, but there are several elements that make View Once all but meaningless.

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“After the controversial changes in their privacy policy at the beginning of this year, WhatsApp is trying to gain users’ trust by including the new privacy-focused features,” Peter Baltazar, technical content writer at MalwareFox, said in an email interview with Lifewire. “The [View Once] feature can be practical if WhatsApp does not let the receivers know that the message is self-deleting. However, unfortunately, that is not the case.”

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