WhatsApp is rolling out some new privacy feature updates in August 2022. With these new settings, you will be able to hide your "Online" active status from others. It will be very simple for you to choose who can see when you are online on WhatsApp, and who cannot. You can control this from your profile privacy settings once WhatsApp rolls out this update by the end of August 2022.
Privacy Updates on WhatsApp in August 2022
WhatsApp is introducing new privacy features in August 2022:
- The updated "Last Seen and Online" privacy setting will give users more control over who can see when they are online.
- WhatsApp will enforce screenshot blocking for "View Once" messages. It will prevent receivers from making copies of messages that were intended to be seen only once.
- The experience of leaving groups will also change. The group exit action will no longer be broadcast to all group members; only the group admins will see when someone leaves the group.
- All these updates will be rolled out to all users by the end of August 2022.
New Privacy Setting: "Last Seen and Online"
Your "Last Seen" timestamp and "Online" status are two ways in which other users can know if you are currently active on the app and when you was the last time you used it.
Till now, it was not possible to hide your "Online" status on WhatsApp, as there was no such setting available. You could only change the privacy controls for your "Last Seen".
By the end of August 2022, the WhatsApp team is going to roll out a new privacy control for your "Online" active status. In this update, the "Last Seen" setting will be expanded to "Last Seen and Online". You will be able to set your "Online" active status privacy to "Everyone" or "Same as last seen".
Hiding your "Online" status from others will be symmetric. You also will not be able to see if the other people are "Online". If you choose to hide your "Online" status only from some contacts, only the "Online" status of these contacts will be hidden from you as well. This is similar to the symmetric privacy in "Read Receipts": if you toggle them OFF, you also cannot see the read receipts from other users.
WhatsApp Privacy Setting: How to Change and Hide your "Last Seen" from others
There is a privacy setting to change who can see your "Last Seen" time. It tells other users the information about when you had last opened WhatsApp.
For "Last Seen", you can select from these privacy control options:
- Your Contacts
- Your Contacts except... (select the contacts who you want to hide "last seen" from)
There are similar privacy controls for other aspects of your WhatsApp profile information, like Profile Photo, About, and WhatsApp Status.
How to Hide Your 'Online' Status from Specific Contacts on WhatsApp?
It is very simple to control who can see your "Online" active status on WhatsApp. Using this privacy setting, you can hide your "Online" status on WhatsApp from selected people, or from everyone. Here's how to do that on any mobile device, Android or iPhone:
- Update your WhatsApp app to the latest version to ensure that it has the new privacy settings.
- Tap on WhatsApp application icon.
- On the top right, tap on the three vertical dots, or the overflow menu.
- From the dropdown menu, tap on "Settings".
- Go to Account > Privacy > Last seen and online
- If the new feature is available for you, you will see "Who can see my Last Seen" and "Who can see when I'm online".
- In "Who can see when I'm online", you can only choose between two options: "Everyone" and "Same as last seen". To hide your online status, select "Same as last seen". Now you will need to pick the right option from the "Last Seen" setting in the next step.
- In "Who can see my Last Seen", you can choose from Everyone, My contacts, My contacts except..., OR Nobody. If you want to hide "Last Seen and Online" from everyone, choose "Nobody". If you only want to hide it only from certain contacts, select "My contact except..." and then choose those exception contacts.
- Tap on "Done".
- In this way, you can hide your "Online" active status on WhatsApp from everyone or from some selected contacts.
- Note again that this new "Last seen and online" setting will be rolled out by the end of August 2022. So if you don't see this yet in your WhatsApp, check on Apple App Store or Google Play Store if there is a new update available for WhatsApp. You might have to wait a few days before this becomes available.
By giving more control to the users over their online activity, messages, and profile information, WhatsApp wants to build and maintain the customer loyalty and user engagement from its huge userbase. Make sure that you keep your WhatsApp updated to avail these new features and protect your privacy. Their aim is to bring the same reliability, trust, and clarity to communication on WhatsApp as we can get in real life face-to-face conversations.
WhatsApp is continuously improving its application to enhance the User Experience, Security, and Privacy for its billions of users. Do you find the new privacy settings and updates on WhatsApp useful? Are they working properly for you and your contacts? Let us know in the comments below, and share this article with your friends and family.