WhatsApp is beta testing the ability to send voice messages that can only be listened to once by their intended recipient, WABetaInfo reports.
The feature, which is currently only available to a limited number of Android and iOS users running the beta version of the app, is reportedly accessible by tapping a small “1” icon that appears to the right of the voice note waveform when recording. “After sending the voice note with the view once mode enabled, you won’t be able to listen to it and the recipient can no longer listen to the voice note after dismissing it,” WABetaInfo reports.
The Meta-owned messaging service already has a similar “View Once” feature for photos and videos that it launched in 2021, so it makes sense it would expand this to voice messages given their contents can be just as sensitive. I’m on the record as being a fan of voice messages, I think they’re a nice way of sharing lots of news with someone in a more personal way without having to do lots of typing, so adding a more private way of using the feature seems great to me.
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As with all these beta WhatsApp features, it’s impossible to say if or even when this might get a wider rollout. Reports previously suggested WhatsApp was also planning on adding “View Once” functionality to text messages, but almost a year later the feature is yet to arrive. (WhatsApp already offers a separate disappearing messages feature that covers text messages.) We’ve contacted Meta for comment, and will update this piece with any response.