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WhatsApp is rolling out self-destructing voice messages

WhatsApp has officially announced that you’ll soon be able to set voice messages to disappear after their recipient hears them. The “View Once” feature has been available for photos and videos since 2021, but it’s now expanding to cover audio messages.

While it’s a little confusing that WhatsApp is using the “View Once” branding for messages that you listen to rather than look at, it’s nice to see the protection available for another of the messaging service’s formats. As a public defender of voice messages, I, for one, am thrilled.

In a press release, the company suggests you might want to use the feature “for reading out your credit card details to a friend, or when you’re planning a surprise.” To that list, I would also add “bitching about your boss” or simply “being romantic and / or horny,” but I can see why those examples wouldn’t make it into Meta’s family-friendly press release.

As always, we had some idea this was coming thanks to the code sleuthing of WABetaInfo, but now we know it’s officially rolling out for iOS and Android globally “over the coming days.” I’ve yet to see the feature appear on my device, but earlier reporting from WABetaInfo suggests you’ll be able to make a voice note “View Once” by tapping the “1” icon to the right of the message’s waveform while recording.

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