Meta’s WhatsApp announced several new privacy updates on Tuesday, including the ability for users to check their messages without other people knowing.
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The platform will soon allow people to control who can see when they’re online, prevent others from taking screenshots of certain messages, and leave groups without notifying entire channels.
WhatsApp has more than 2 billion users globally, and is owned by Facebook (FB) parent Meta.
Announcing the changes on Facebook and Instagram, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company would “keep building new ways to protect your messages and keep them as private and secure as face-to-face conversations.”
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WhatsApp has long touted its use of end-to-end encryption, which means only the sender and recipient of a message can see its contents. And like other private messaging platforms, it already allows users to send messages that disappear after set periods of time.
“We love our group chats but some are not forever. We’re making it possible to exit a group privately without making it a big deal to everyone. Now, instead of notifying the full group when you are leaving, only the admins will be notified. This feature will start to roll out to all users this month.”
Choose Who Can See When You’re Online:
“Seeing when friends or family are online helps us feel connected to one another, but we’ve all had times when we wanted to check our WhatsApp privately.
For the moments 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 start rolling out to all users this month.”
Screenshot Blocking For View Once Messages:
“View Once is already an incredibly popular way to share photos or media that don’t need to have a permanent digital record. Now we’re enabling screenshot blocking for View Once messages for an added layer of protection. We’re testing this feature now and are excited to roll it out to users soon.”
“To spread the word about these new layers of protection, we’re also kicking off a campaign to educate people about the new features and our continued commitment to protecting your private conversations on WhatsApp. We hope people enjoy getting to use these new features and benefit from several options that help you keep your messages secure. We look forward to your feedback on what to build next.”