WhatsApp adding new privacy feature

WhatsApp has started rolling out a new privacy feature for users of its Android beta app that allows them to hide their online status.

WABetaInfo reports that beta testers running WhatsApp Android beta 2.22.20.9 will find the option available under an updated “Last seen and online” section in the Account > Privacy category of the app’s settings page.

Previously, the “My contacts except” setting let users specify which of their contacts they don’t want to allow to see their “Last seen” status, but they had no control over whether someone could see when they were online.

With the addition of a new “Who can see when I’m online” section, users can define a separate setting for which of their contacts can see their “Online” status.

They can choose to either let “Everyone” see their online status, regardless of their “Last seen” setting, or select the “Same as last seen” option to correlate with the “My contacts”, “My contacts except”, or “Nobody” settings.

Below is a screenshot from WABetaInfo showing the new setting.

The capability will likely be rolled out to users of the official app after a period of testing.

The setting is one of three major new privacy features announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in early August 2022.

The second feature is the ability to leave groups silently, which means the app will no longer send a message that shows you have left.

The third new feature aims to address a loophole in WhatsApp’s recently-launched “View Once” message feature, which lets other users screenshot the message.

The Screenshot Blocking capability will prevent users from capturing screen grabs of messages containing sensitive details, images, or videos.


Now read: WhatsApp working on profile pictures in group chats

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WhatsApp adding new privacy feature