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WhatsApp is introducing voice messages that disappear on their own

What you need to know

  • Following the success of View Once for photos and videos, WhatsApp now introduces the same disappearing act for voice messages.
  • Just like View Once photos and videos, your voice messages will sport the WhatsApp “one-time” icon and play only once.
  • The feature is set to roll out globally in the coming days.

Meta is adding support for disappearing voice messages, just like the “View Once” feature for photos and videos, making your voice notes self-destruct after the recipient hears them once.

According to the company’s blog post, you can use this feature for sharing confidential information like your credit card details with a friend or planning a surprise. WhatsApp voice notes will be marked with a “one-time” icon, so your friend knows to listen closely because it’s gone after that.

To send ephemeral voice messages, simply tap the mic button, swipe up to lock it, hold to record, and the View Once icon pops up in the bottom right-hand corner. Tap it, and your voice message is ready to send with a timer attached to it.

Like the self-destructing photos and videos, WhatsApp’s disappearing voice messages are protected with end-to-end encryption for extra privacy (which is also finally coming to Facebook Messenger). The feature is rolling out globally over the next few days.

While your voice messages are safe with E2E encryption, there’s a small catch: the feature can’t stop someone from recording your voice message using other methods, like their phone’s built-in screen recorder. So, use your best judgment when sending sensitive secrets, per WhatsApp’s support page.

Disappearing voice messages don’t vanish instantly after you play them. WhatsApp keeps encrypted media on its servers for a few weeks, just in case. Plus, if someone reports a message, even a disappearing one, it gets sent to the WhatsApp team for review.

You’ve got 14 days to open any View Once media after it’s sent. After that, it’s gone for good. And the usual rules apply: no forwarding, saving, starring, or sharing is allowed for disappearing media.

If you back up your WhatsApp data before opening a View Once message, it can be restored. But once you open it, it’s gone forever, even if you back up your data later.



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