WhatsApp gains some highly-requested privacy features for users trying to stay under the radar

WhatsApp logo on Android
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  1. WhatsApp has announced several new privacy features arriving on the platform.
  2. Users will be able to hide their online status from contacts and block screenshots for certain messages.
  3. The company also announced that users can now remove messages from a chat two days after they're sent.

WhatsApp has been working on expanding the ways users communicate through the app while adding additional features to help preserve user privacy. These latest features give users more control over their visibility within the app while giving users more time to take back something embarrassing they may have said.

On Tuesday, WhatsApp announced a series of privacy features arriving this month on the platform. The first of these is an extension of one the company launched earlier this year, allowing users to hide their online status from others. The company previously allowed users to hide their "last seen" status, hiding one's online status from strangers by default. But now it's extending this so users can also hide their online status from their contacts. That way, avoiding certain people you may not want to talk to will be easier.

Additionally, WhatsApp is letting users silently dip out of groups in case they no longer want to be in the conversation but don't wanna make a spectacle of their departure. With this feature, only admins will be notified when you leave.

Users may also enjoy a change coming to View Once messages, which are Snapchat-like images or videos that the receiver can only view once. Because these messages are likely a bit more sensitive, WhatsApp is now testing screenshot blocking for View Once messages.

WhatsApp adds new privacy features

(Image credit: WhatsApp)

Lastly, the company announced on Twitter this week that users now have "little over 2 days to delete your messages" after they've already been sent. This gives users a little more time to take back something embarrassing or maybe an image that maybe should've been sent as a View Once message. The time limit was previously just over one hour.

Features such as hiding your online status and silently leaving group chats will roll out later this month. WhatsApp continues testing the ability to block screenshots from View Once messages and hopes to enable that feature "soon."

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.