WHATSAPP is working on a way to ban users from a simple iPhone and Android trick.
It means millions will be unable to perform a common function – all in the name of privacy.
Meta boss and WhatsApp owner Mark Zuckerberg wants to ban you from taking screenshots of View Once messages.
The news was announced back in August, but it’s now available to test for some users.
Tech sleuths at WABetaInfo have uncovered the feature in the beta version of WhatsApp on Android.
That means beta app users will be able to try it out.
“WhatsApp is releasing a new version of view once images and videos in order to prevent people from taking a screenshot, or a screen recording,” WABetaInfo explained.
When you try to take a screenshot, it will be completely black.
And for some users, the ability to screenshot will disappear completely.
There are some interesting caveats to the new feature.
For instance, the sender won’t receive a notification if your screenshot attempt is blocked.
And trying to record the screen is also banned.
You can still snap Disappearing Messages, but not View Once images or videos.
You also can’t forward, export or save View Once images and videos – although this is already the case.
“WhatsApp keeps working on improving the detection of those attempts to silently take screenshots, and more improvements may be available in the future,” WABetaInfo explained.
Of course the system isn’t foolproof.
It’s entirely possible for someone to use another phone or device with a camera to physically capture the screen.
There’s no way of WhatsApp logging this, and it’s impossible to stop.
So always consider whether you’re comfortable with a View Once message being saved through this mechanism.
If you’re very wary of the content that you’re sending, consider not sharing it at all.
Sadly it’s unclear when screenshot blocking will go live on the general release version of WhatsApp.
If you want to join the beta and try out new WhatsApp features first, follow our guide below.
How to join WhatsApp beta
To download WhatsApp beta for your smartphone you need to go to Google Play on your Android and search for WhatsApp.
Scroll down the page until you see “Become a Beta Tester”.
Tap the “I’m In” button and then click “Join” to confirm.
Now all you have to do is wait for the update to the beta version of the app.
Joining the WhatsApp beta on iPhone is more difficult, and has limited capacity.
Follow Apple’s guide here.
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