WhatsApp, Meta’s popular messaging app, is working to extend user privacy by working on a new feature that will allow users to hide their online status from everyone. It is expected to be released in the future update of the app for Android, iOS and Desktop users.
According to a report from WABetaInfo, which tracks all the latest developments related to WhatsApp, the messaging platform is apparently testing an update for the Last Seen and Online Status. This feature allows users to decide who can see them online while using the messaging app.
Currently WhatsApp users can only hide their Last seen everyone, contacts or specific contacts. In its report, WABetaInfo stated that many WhatsApp users over the years have requested to be able to hide their online status in stealth mode for various reasons. For example, some users want to use the messaging app without being disturbed by other people, or they feel stalked by someone.
“We know a lot of people want this feature, so we also made a draft last year to disable the online status, which is a good way to share feedback with WhatsApp,” WABetaInfo said in the report.
As seen in the screenshot below, this new privacy feature in WhatsApp now allows users to choose who to share their last seen status with, directly in WhatsApp Privacy Settings by choosing between two options: “Everyone” and “Same as last seen.”
“It will be possible to configure who can see when we are online within our last seen settings thanks to two new options: “Everyone” and “Same as last seen”. For example, if you choose “My contacts” for “Last seen” and “Same as last seen” for “online,” means non-contacts can’t see when you’re online,” added WABetaInfo.
“Last year, WhatsApp started automatically hiding last seen from contacts you’ve never chatted with to prevent third-party apps from monitoring our last seen and online status. Unfortunately, people we already chat with were still able to see when we were online, but thanks to the new “who can see when I’m online” privacy setting, they can’t do this anymore.”
WhatsApp is working on the ability to hide online status!
WhatsApp is finally listening to user feedback by developing a feature that allows us to choose who can see when we are online on WhatsApp!https://t.co/eew9OVi5I1 pic.twitter.com/y3DWfobY3P
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) July 1, 2022
While the screenshot shared by WaBetaInfo is in WhatsApp beta on iOS, the same feature is expected to come to WhatsApp Android beta and Desktop beta as well.
The feature is currently in development and will likely be available in a future update to the app. It is unknown when the feature will be rolled out to the general public.