WhatsApp is rolling out new security features that let you have more granular control over who can and can’t see certain account details.
The settings affected on your WhatsApp account (opens in new tab) are the Profile Photo, About description, and Last Seen status. You can now decide whom amongst your contacts can see those three details. Control over Last Seen, in particular, is a functionality that has been in the works since November 2021. That level of control is being expanded to the other two settings.
Prior to this security update, you could either let the public see those particular account details, restrict access to just contacts, or prevent everyone from knowing. And you don't have to worry about the rest of your contacts as everyone not restricted will be to see that information just fine.
With the new update, be aware that when you restrict your Last Seen status to a certain person, you won’t be able to see their status either. This update is arriving on both Android and iOS. You can check if you have the update by going to Settings on WhatsApp, then selecting Account, and then Privacy.
If you click Profile Photo, for example, you should see a new entry that reads “My contacts except…”. That is the new update where you can select who can see your details. If you don’t have it, it’s recommended that you update WhatsApp. We couldn't get confirmation from WhatsApp if this feature will release globally.
On top of the security updates, WhatsApp also snuck in three new group call features. You can now mute or message specific people on a call. There will also be a new indicator that pops up from the bottom of the screen whenever someone joins a large-scale call. This information came from the Twitter account of Will Cathcart (opens in new tab) who is the Head of WhatsApp.
As for upcoming features, WhatsApp news site WABetaInfo has spotted a new beta for Android phones (opens in new tab) which is referred to as Android 184.108.40.206. The beta has a new management feature called “Group Membership Approval”.
According to WABetaInfo, the feature allows group creators to have control over who can be allowed into a chat. Group chat members can invite others into the room, but those extra people must be approved by the creator. Group Membership Approval can reportedly be turned on by going into the group chat setting. WABetaInfo also discovered new gender-neutral emojis (opens in new tab) in the beta.
If you’re interested in trying out the beta, you can join the Google Play Beta Program (opens in new tab) right now and download 220.127.116.11 on your device. Earlier this week, TechRadar covered another WhatsApp feature that makes it easy to transfer data from Android to iOS.