WhatsApp Adds Time-Limited Photos to Messaging Service

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One of the pillars of Facebook’s overall strategy, WhatsApp hasn’t gotten a lot of attention in the press after selling for a ton of money back in the day.

person holding smartphone
Photo by Christian Wiediger

Nonetheless, it continues to be one of Facebook’s most popular services. And it just announced that it is adding a long-requested feature that is found on other platforms though was pioneered in large part by Snapchat

Naturally, we’re talking about time-limited photos. Called “View Once” photos, WhatsApp says the feature was added to capture those ephemeral moments that you don’t necessarily want to be preserved for all time and eternity.

We can only imagine what that might cover.

That said, WhatsApp tends to pride itself on message security, and the “View Once” feature is no exception. All of the app’s messages are encrypted and there’s really no social element like you find in Snapchat or on WhatsApp’s sister services like Facebook Messenger and Instagram.

Also, unlike some new features on Instagram and Messenger, WhatsApp is rolling this out immediately for all users – no limited, regional beta testing for this service. Then again, as we noted above, this feature is quite common across many messaging apps so maybe there’s not a lot to be done in the viability testing realm.

Some of the finer details about the feature: You can only view the media once, it will expire after fourteen days if unopened, and you will only know if the recipient has viewed it if the user enabled read receipts in the app’s settings. Additionally, photos and videos created using this method aren’t saved in the user or app’s camera roll.

Do you use WhatsApp for messaging or Snapchat? Does a time-limited feature make sense to you? Let us know what you think of WhatsApp’s latest update in the comments below.

Be sure to check out our other photography news on Light Stalking at this link right here.

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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