WhatsApp makes photos and videos “disappear”: here is the View Once function

WhatsApp will now "disappear" photos and videos : to announce it is the official account of the messaging app. View Once was announced in a tweet, and allows users to send photos and videos that are deleted after the recipient sees them. Zuckerberg had announced the functionality last June, without however revealing the release date. Now, finally, we will be able to send temporary photos, lasting just one "glance" .

WhatsApp, as well as Facebook, has added many new features in recent months, starting with the speed-up audio to get to the new shop features . This time the app manages to position itself one step ahead of Telegram, its direct competitor.

WhatsApp makes photos and videos disappear

In a tweet of August 4, WhatsApp announced the arrival of the feature that makes photos and videos disappear , giving " more control to the privacy of chats ". As soon as the recipient opens the shared file, in fact, it is deleted, but it is still possible to take a screenshot of the message.

Like normal chats, View Once content is protected by end-to-end encryption . Photos and videos are not saved in the recipient's gallery, and cannot be forwarded, saved, or added to favorites. The contents that are not opened "expire" after 14 days: at the end of the two weeks, if they have not been opened, they are deleted from the chat. The sender can only know if the recipient has opened the photo if they have active read receipts. Messages sent with View Once are recognizable by the presence of the number 1 alongside.

View Once by WhatsApp allows you to make photos and videos disappear after viewing.
View Once by WhatsApp allows you to make photos and videos disappear after viewing.

Many users have stated that they have already tried the feature. View Once is available from August 4th for the latest versions of the application . The comparison with Telegram was immediate, and many compared the functionality with that of the competitor's self-destruct. However, between the two features there is a non-trivial difference: if in Telegram it is necessary to specify a timer for self-destruction, in WhatsApp this is not necessary. In fact, photos and videos will self-destruct immediately after opening .

Advertising from WhatsApp chats?

According to the latest rumors, Zuckerberg seems to want to introduce targeted advertising using WhatsApp chats . The idea is not new, but in recent days the rumors seem to have returned to the fore, becoming more insistent. However, ad insertion collides with end-to-end encryption, which clashes with the desire to insert targeted advertisements for the individual user.

For this reason it would appear that Zuckerberg is forming a team of researchers in the field of artificial intelligence to address the problem. The goal is to find a way to create targeted Facebook ads based on WhatsApp chats, overcoming the encryption problem. The solution is the use of homomorphic encryption , a type of encryption used precisely for the manipulation of encrypted data and already used by Google and IBM.

With homomorphic encryption, you can access information about the encrypted data.
With homomorphic encryption, you can access information about the encrypted data.

The basis of homomorphic cryptography is the possibility of performing computations on encrypted data, without the need to decrypt it. The results, if decrypted, provide an output equal to that obtained if the single data had been decrypted. This allows you to maintain the privacy of users but at the same time obtain the necessary information. Facebook, with this technique, would be able to monetize the chats of WhatsApp users , which currently amount to around 2 billion.

As already mentioned, for now they are only rumors and there is nothing confirmed, so we need to take the news with a grain of salt. If in the future there is a concrete possibility of this type of ads, many users may turn up their noses and give up the use of WhatsApp , worried about their privacy. For Facebook it would mean being able to monetize the huge amount of data in its possession, currently unusable due to cryptography.

The WhatsApp article makes photos and videos “disappear”: here is the View Once function comes from Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .