If you are a WhatsApp user, at some point, you have been bothered by the ‘online’ sign on the app when you wished people did not know.
The app has launched a stealth mode that gives you the option to select who can and can’t see when you’re on WhatsApp.
The tool is one of three new privacy features announced by Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of WhatsApp’s parent company Meta.
‘We’ll keep building new ways to protect your messages and keep them as private and secure as face-to-face conversations,’ Zuckerberg said.
The three new privacy tools have been launched as ‘added layers of protection when messaging,’ according to WhatsApp.
‘New privacy features coming to WhatsApp: exit group chats without notifying everyone, control who can see when you’re online, and prevent screenshots on view once messages,’ Zuckerberg said.
‘Seeing when friends or family are online helping us feel connected to one another, but we’ve all had times when we wanted to check our WhatsApp privately,’ WhatsApp explained.
‘For the times you want to keep your online presence private, we’re introducing the ability to select who can and can’t see when you’re online.’
This will give a sense of privacy to users and also reduce the expectation of responding as soon as a message is received.
Instead, only admins will now be notified when you leave a group.
‘View Once is already an incredibly popular way to share photos or media that don’t need to have a permanent digital record,’ WhatsApp explained. ‘Now we’re enabling screenshot blocking for View Once messages for an added layer of protection.’
Ami Vora, head of product at WhatsApp, explained: ‘At WhatsApp, we’re focused on building product features that empower people to have more control and privacy over their messages.
‘Over the years, we’ve added interlocking layers of protection to help keep their conversations secure, and the new features are one way we continue to deliver on our commitment to keeping messages private.
‘No other global messaging service at this scale provides this level of security for their users’ messages, media, voice messages, video calls, and chat backups.
‘We believe WhatsApp is the most secure place to have a private conversation.
‘And to spread the word about these new features, we’re also kicking off a global campaign, starting with the UK and India, to educate people about how we work to protect their private conversations on WhatsApp.’