WhatsApp begins testing granular privacy controls in latest iOS beta update: report

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WhatsApp is reportedly introducing new granular privacy controls for certain testers in the latest beta version of the app for iOS, allowing for advanced management of in-app privacy settings. The feature, first spotted in development last year, aims to give users granular control over who can see their last seen, approximate and profile photo on the messaging service. While some testers can now access these features in the iOS and Android beta versions, WhatsApp has yet to announce when these privacy controls will roll out to all users.

According to a report by WhatsApp feature tracker WABetaInfo, the Meta-owned messaging service has begun rolling out granular privacy controls for profile photos, “About” descriptions and “Last Seen” on WhatsApp. Users who have signed up to receive beta builds through TestFlight can update to WhatsApp Beta for iOS and may see features enabled in the app. The new settings appear to be activated via a server-side switch, as some users may have to wait 24 hours to see the new settings, according to the feature tracker.

WhatsApp’s new privacy settings for users of the latest iOS beta
Photo credit: WABetaInfo

Users who have updated to the latest beta version can go to WhatsApp settings and select Accountthen tap privacy. Titled under each of the three sections above, Last seen and profile photousers should be able to see a new option titled My contacts except… – preventing selected contacts from showing their profile photo, last seen, or profile section information. Previously, WhatsApp only allowed users to choose between them Anyone, my contactsand Nobody.

Excluding a contact from showing When They Were Last Seen on WhatsApp will hide their last seen contact from you, but this is not the case if you hide them from showing your approximate or last seen contacts, according to the feature tracker . The same goes for WhatsApp for Android beta users who got the same feature last month with WhatsApp Beta for Android, which launched on March 29th. Gadgets 360 was able to confirm that the granular privacy controls were enabled and is working on the latest version of WhatsApp Beta for Android.

Earlier this week, WhatsApp announced a new community feature designed to help admins gain better control over groups. With the new feature, multiple groups can be added to a community and admins can send a single message to all. WhatsApp also brings other improvements to the messaging service, including an increased file-sharing limit, new reactions, and the ability to make group audio calls with up to 32 people at once, according to the company.


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