WhatsApp Announces New Privacy Features: Hide Online Status, Block Screenshots, More

BY Sriansh

Published 9 Aug 2022

WhatsApp Privacy Features

WhatsApp is always looking for new ways to increase user privacy and security to improve the app experience. The popular instant messaging platform has now announced several privacy features, including the ability to hide online status, blocking screenshots for ‘View Once; messages, and more, that will be coming to the WhatsApp app on Android and iPhone.

New WhatsApp Privacy Features

Choose Who Can See You Online

WhatsApp already allows users to hide their last seen status, and now a similar option has been added for the ‘Online’ status. When you enable the feature, WhatsApp will display the “Online” status only to selected people. The company says the feature has been added for those who prefer to keep their online presence private. WhatsApp also notes that if you prevent other people from seeing your online status, you won’t be able to see theirs either. 

Screenshot Blocking for ‘View Once’ Messages

WhatsApp rolled out ‘View Once’ messages last year. However, the users have since been complaining that the viewer can still take a screenshot or screen record their ‘View Once’ message. The new privacy feature will block the view from taking a screenshot of ‘View Once’ messages. WhatsApp is still testing this feature but says it will start rolling out to users soon.

The feature might also expand to disappearing messages in the future, but it is not confirmed as of now. 

View Past Participants, Leave Groups Silently

The last major privacy update is coming to the WhatsApp groups. First, WhatsApp will now allow newly added users to view the list of past participants of the group. The list of past participants will contain all the people who left or were removed from a group in the last 60 days.

Finally, the company will also allow you to leave group chats ‘silently’. Up until now, when you leave a WhatsApp group chat, the app notifies everyone that a specific person has left or has been removed from the group. Moving forward, only the group admins will be notified when a person leaves the group, making leaving a group less awkward. 

The features were announced by Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook earlier today. While the hide online status and silent group exit feature will be rolling out on Android and iPhone later this month, WhatsApp says the screenshot blocking tool is still under development but will be available soon.

What are your thoughts on the new WhatsApp features? Let us know in the comments section below!

Source: Facebook