According to WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is developing a feature that will allow users to send a text message that can be viewed by the other person only once, after which it will expire. This text message can’t be copied, saved, or forwarded. Additionally, people might not be able to take a screenshot of it. This feature is similar to text messaging through Snapchat, where you have the option to make text messages disappear as soon as the user reads them and closes the chat.
The development of the new feature was discovered in WhatsApp beta v18.104.22.168 for Android. WABetaInfo has shared a screenshot of the feature, and as you can see, if the view-once feature for a text message is enabled, the default send button will change with one that has a lock in it. The view-once option is already available for sharing photos and videos, and the view-once text messages in the chat will also appear similarly (with “1 Text” written in the preview).
Currently, WhatsApp has a feature called Disappearing Messages. All messages sent after enabling this feature will disappear from a chat after a set period of time, and people have three time-out options to choose from 24 hours, 7 days, and 90 days. However, this feature gives people enough time and options (copy, forward, and take a screenshot) to share messages. So, even though this feature is intended to offer better privacy, it doesn’t do much.
The view-once messages will be different as people can’t copy, forward, or take a screenshot of them. This will give you peace of mind that sensitive texts won’t be seen by or shared with other people. That being said, this feature is not entirely foolproof, as people may still be able to take a photograph of the message using another smartphone or a camera. Expect the view-once text messages feature to make it to the stable version of the app in the coming months.