Mission Possible: iOS beta of WhatsApp now offers disappearing messages

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Mission Possible: iOS beta of WhatsApp now offers disappearing messages
It's funny-well, not yuck, yuck funny-but funny in an odd sort of way how several social media apps started out popular for a certain feature and morphed into something else. Take Snapchat which first became known for its disappearing messages leading to comparisons with television's Mission Impossible series. The latter opened each show with the team's task for the week recorded on a tape that would self-destruct in five seconds.

When Instagram first launched, it was known as a photo filter app and we used to tell you whenever it added new ones. But Snapchat added Stories as did Instagram and over time, new features soon become an app's most popular reason for existing. And now WhatsApp is becoming the new butt of Mission Impossible jokes after adding disappearing messages to its Android app last month with three options: messages disappear after 24 hours, seven days, or do not vanish.

Now comes word from specialized website WABetaInfo that the beta version of the messaging app testing the disappearing messages is coming to iOS via the Test Flight app. The beta version is 2.21.140.9 and the feature is called View Once. Unfortunately, right now the WhatsApp beta program is closed to new testers on iOS.

If you're already an iOS WhatsApp beta tester, you might see a prompt that reads, "Send photos and videos that can only be viewed once. For more privacy, your photo or video will disappear from the chat after the recipient opens it once." In this mode, screenshots are not blocked and the sender will not be notified if the recipient does take a screenshot which means copies of an image can be made on the QT.

With View Once, the video or image disappears immediately from the sender's phone when disseminated. And once the recipient opens the message containing the video or photo, it disappears from that phone as well and the sender will see that the message he sent has been received and opened. If the message is not opened within the time limit chosen by the sender, it will disappear.

WhatsApp says that View Once will lead to more intimate conversations between users of the messaging app.

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