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Meta Introduces Disappearing Voice Messages on WhatsApp, Enhancing User Privacy

In a significant move within the realm of Meta’s messaging apps, today’s headline revelation is the widespread implementation of end-to-end encryption in Messenger. However, the tech giant isn’t stopping there; a noteworthy addition is on its way to WhatsApp users in the form of disappearing voice messages. This innovative feature empowers users to send a voice note that self-destructs after a single play, mirroring the “View Once” capability for photos and videos introduced in 2021.

Meta emphasizes that this feature adds an extra layer of security to conversations where retaining information in digital form is undesirable—think surprise planning or sharing sensitive, one-time-use details like credit card numbers with friends or family.

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Distinctly marked with a “one-time” icon, these ephemeral voice messages signal to recipients that playback is a one-shot deal. This ensures users won’t mistakenly play the message in a noisy environment or can prepare to take notes if crucial information needs to be retained. WhatsApp asserts that these messages, like “View Once” photos and videos, benefit from default end-to-end encryption.

This update to WhatsApp aligns with Meta’s ongoing commitment to privacy-centric alterations across its social platforms. Despite recent adjustments, including the discontinuation of cross-messaging between Instagram and Facebook, Meta has fulfilled certain encryption promises, introducing encryption to WhatsApp chat backups in 2021 and now culminating in the rollout of end-to-end encryption in Messenger.

Global deployment of WhatsApp’s new “View Once” feature for voice messages is underway, set to reach users in the coming days. While not instantly visible in all apps, the option will soon become accessible to users worldwide.