WhatsApp Self-Erasing Media and Texts Are Coming to iOS

Try out the new View Once feature in the latest WhatsApp beta

WhatsApp's View Once feature that lets you send media and texts that delete themselves automatically after viewing is bound for iOS—and you can try it out in the latest WhatsApp beta.

A new WhatsApp feature called View Once, which was released on Android in June, is now making its way to iOS devices with a test run currently being rolled out in the most recent beta. You can sign up for the WhatsApp beta, which is available through Testflight, to gain access to the new feature.

Woman hiding under a blanketed using her smart phone late at night in bed

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If you have the latest beta downloaded (version 2.21.140.9) but don't see the View Once option, WABetaInfo suggests waiting for a bit as WhatsApp is steadily expanding access to testers.

The View Once feature expands on its Disappearing Messages feature, which allows users to set messages to automatically delete themselves after seven days. This time, instead of self-destructing after a set amount of time, messages sent with View Once enabled will cease to exist immediately after they're viewed and closed.

Senders will see a notification for when their message is viewed, with WABetaInfo noting that receivers have no way to disable this notification option.

Woman texting on mobile phone

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It's also noted that, while View Once messages will be deleted right after they're dismissed, there's no way to prevent a recipient from taking a screenshot of the message. This will likely be less of an issue for something like a video, but it does somewhat diminish the effectiveness of the View Once feature.

If you're signed up for the WhatsApp Beta and the View Once feature is available, you can activate the option when sending a message by tapping on a dedicated button inside the text input box.

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