Love it or hate it, but you end up using it. That's how critical WhatsApp messenger has become to our lives, especially in India where the Meta-owned service boasts of its biggest user base. In its effort to continued relevance, WhatsApp has launched payments and is now coming up with a feature that could be a boon to Indian users.
According to information available on WABetaInfo, a website that tracks all things on WhatsApp, the new beta version would allow users to hide information about when they were last on WhatsApp from specific contacts, like the boss or even partner. The app has the provision of shutting down the Last Seen option, but in doing so users have to forgo their ability to see it on others' devices too.
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What does it mean?
The feature, which appears to have been in active development for some weeks now, went live for a subset of users as part of the beta testing program. There are no further details about when the feature is scheduled to roll out across the world and how WhatsApp plans to bring it to both Android and iOS ecosystems.
The new feature works on the principle that all contacts on a user's smartphone do not require to see when a person last checked her WhatsApp. As the image below suggests, there are now four specific options that users can employ with reference to curtailing who sees their status activity.
How will it work?
One could either allow the default setting whereby everyone can see when you last opened WhatsApp or set it up exclusively for contacts. The new tweak allows users to set up an exclusion list from the contact book or go back to the existing option of removing status activity from all users.
There are still a few things we aren't sure about this upcoming feature though. For example, how many of a user's contact list can she disable the last seen feature for? Is there a way that the user can decide to block someone and then unblock based on a changed situation on the personal front?
We do have several such questions and would be keeping a close watch on further developments on this front. And we promise to bring the answers to you in greater detail as and when they become available.
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A media veteran who turned a gadget lover fairly recently. An early adopter of Apple products, Raj has an insatiable curiosity for facts and figures which he puts to use in research. He engages in active sport and retreats to his farm during his spare time.