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WhatsApp disappearing photos feature is finally here

WhatsApp has finally rolled out the disappearing photos feature to the stable version of the app. The feature has been available in beta for a while now and WhatsApp is now rolling it to everyone. 

WhatsApp is calling this feature ‘‘View Once’ and is similar to how Instagram’s expiring media feature works. The feature automatically deletes media files after the recipient has viewed them once.

This feature is centered around privacy and is part of the privacy changes the company has been making to its policies in recent days.

‘’ we’re rolling out new View Once photos and videos that disappear from the chat after they’ve been opened, giving users, even more, control over their privacy.’’ the company said in a blog post.

‘’We’re rolling out the feature to everyone starting this week and are looking forward to feedback on this new way to send private and disappearing media.’’

The media will not be saved to the recipient’s Photos or Gallery and once you send a view once photo or video, you won’t be able to view it again.

How to enable WhatsApp disappearing photos feature

Open your WhatsApp and tap on the attachment icon. Go to Gallery and select the photo or video you want to send to your recipient. Once you select the file, you will see a clock-like icon in the ‘Add a caption’ bar, on the right side, just tap on it to enable the View Once feature. 

Once you enable it, the app will show you a message saying “Photo set to View Once.” 

After the media has been viewed, the message will appear as “opened” to avoid any confusion about what was happening in the chat at the time.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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