New WhatsApp update gives you more control over your privacy

WhatsApp for Android dark mode
WhatsApp for Android dark mode (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A new WhatsApp beta update is rolling out with a new privacy option.
  • The update adds the ability to hide your profile photo, About information, and "Last seen" status from only certain contacts.
  • Previously, users could choose to show these to everyone, all of their contacts, or no one.

A new WhatsApp beta update is rolling out, with a new privacy feature that will make it easier to avoid certain contacts or hide your information from specific users.

Spotted by WABetaInfo, the update adds a new option to the Last seen privacy setting. Previously, this gave users the option to show their status to Everyone, their contacts, or no one. The additional "My contacts except…" option lets users specify certain contacts that they don't want to see their Last seen status.

This will give users more control over who can see when they were last online, and maybe a good way to avoid certain contacts, giving you the appearance of just not being online to respond to their messages. That said, they should still be able to see when you're online. And while the option to completely block contact is always present, this option acts as more of a "soft block" as they will still be able to contact you.

Whatsapp New Privacy Settings

Source: WABetaInfo (Image credit: Source: WABetaInfo)

The option is also arriving for the profile photo and About section. It's rolling out with WhatsApp beta version and can be accessed from the under account privacy settings under each respective option.

As noted by the image above, if you hide your Last seen status from anyone, you also won't be able to see their status. However, WABetaInfo notes that this limitation does not apply to the profile photo or About section.

The feature is gradually rolling out for certain beta testers on the best Android phones, so those of you on the beta channel may not notice the option right away.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.