Self-deleting pictures and videos on WhatsApp are available for some people

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 05, 2020 the logo of mobile messaging service WhatsApp on a tablet screen in Toulouse, southwestern France. - WhatsApp on December 8, 2020 added virtual shopping carts people can load with purchases and then use to fire off orders to businesses as the Facebook-owned messaging service pushed deeper into e-commerce. (Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP) (Photo by LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images)
WhatsApp is launching ‘View Once’ self-deleting pictures and videos Getty Images)

The ability to send self-deleting pictures and videos on WhatsApp appears to finally be rolling out to some users.

It looks like only the apps beta testers – and only the ones on the Android operating system – are able to access it at the moment.

The team at WABetaInfo, which confirmed with Mark Zuckerberg the ephemeral feature was coming, has reported it is live for some.

According to the site, users will know if they have access because a dedicated button (that looks like a timer) will appear in the caption input field.

Called ‘View Once’, the feature is a way of wiping videos and pictures as soon as they are viewed – similar to what can be done on Snapchat or Instagram.

View Once is different from disappearing messages, which will hang around and self-erase after seven days.

If the View Once feature is activated, you’ll get a notification when your content has been viewed.

As WABetaInfo points out, there are still a couple of quirks with the feature. For starters, disabling read receipts doesn’t stop others being notified a View Once message has been read. Similarly, even with read receipts disabled, you’ll see in groups if others have opened it.

More tellingly, there’s nothing you can do about a recipient screenshotting a View Once message.

But despite the niggles, it’s clear that WhatsApp is trying to do more to focus on privacy.

Despite being the most popular messaging app in the world, WhatsApp suffered a bruising misfire over planned changes to its privacy policy.

The app wanted tighter integration with Facebook, but many users disagreed and started jumping ship to rival services like Signal and Telegram.

Another long-rumoured feature is multi-device syncing. Something that Mark Zuckerberg also promised is coming soon.

MORE : WhatsApp is really trying to prove it cares about your privacy

MORE : Mark Zuckerberg confirms WhatsApp is getting Snapchat-style features

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