Whatsapp launches a feature similar to Snapchat

August 05, 2021 | 2 minutes read

WhatsApp has launched a feature that will allow users to view photos and videos only once. Remember Snapchat’s snap feature?

It is similar to Snapchat as once the recipient has opened the photo or video, it will disappear without getting saved to the phone gallery. 

Whatsapp said that the new feature is aimed to give people more control over their privacy. The feature will renew WhatsApp to stand in line with other apps using the same feature. 

One concern shared by child protection advocates is that the feature will help cover the evidence. 

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) is already at odds with WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook over the use of encrypted messaging.

This means that police can’t see the messages, only the sender and receiver can. With this auto-delete feature, police will not be able to have access to evidence either. 

“This view once feature could put children at even greater risk by giving offenders another tool to avoid detection and erase evidence, when efforts to combat child sexual abuse are already hindered by end-to-end encryption,” said Alison Trew, the charity’s senior online safety officer.

WhatsApp is marketing the “view once feature for personal use” when you’re trying new clothes in a shop and would like a suggestion from your friends or sending sensitive information that you wouldn’t like to hold on to. 

The popularity of Snapchat’s auto-delete feature is debatable. People use it obsessively because it gives them a getaway from accountability. Harassment cases have come to light using Snapchat which is convenient if you’re looking to leave no evidence behind. 

Technology is essentially great but if technology is adversely affecting people’s behavior then that is a moment of concern. People used to hold on to memories in the form of messages and photos but that has been receding quickly in the time of features like these.

It is yet to see how this feature is going to settle with people and law enforcement agencies as they require evidence.