What you need to know
- WhatsApp is rolling out new privacy protections for its users.
- The changes make it harder for people you haven't chatted with to view your last seen and online presence.
- For now, you can still choose to have your "Last seen" status be visible to everyone.
WhatsApp has quietly introduced a new change that aims to make it a lot more difficult for strangers to view your "Last seen" and online presence on the app. As reported by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp's "Last seen" privacy setting is now set to "My Contacts" by default on the best Android phones and iPhones.
Until now, the privacy setting was set to "Everyone" by default, which enabled third parties to create apps that allowed users to log the last seen and online status of their contacts. The change comes a month after WhatsApp rolled out the ability to hide their online status, "Last seen" information, and profile photos from certain contacts to beta users. The new privacy option is expected to roll out to everyone sometime in the near future.
WhatsApp also introduced additional options for its disappearing messages feature earlier this month. Users can now choose to have their messages disappear automatically after 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days. When the feature was launched last year, users could only choose to have their chats disappear after 7 days.
Another change that WhatsApp introduced recently is the ability to have disappearing messages enabled for new group chats. Since the option only shows up when you create a new group, it doesn't apply to existing group chats.
The app's "view once" feature, however, is still limited to photos and videos. And unlike a few other rival messaging apps, WhatsApp doesn't warn users when the recipient takes a screenshot or records the "view once" media using a screen recorder app.
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