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WhatsApp rolling out big privacy changes

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Meta Platforms-owned WhatsApp is rolling out several privacy features, including the ability to send messages while appearing offline and blocking screenshots of view-once messages.

The messaging platform will also allow users to leave group chats privately without sending a notification to everyone when exiting groups.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company wants to keep messages as secure as in-person conversations.

“We’ll keep building new ways to protect your messages and keep them as private and secure as face-to-face conversations,” he said in a Facebook post.

WhatsApp users can already block their “last seen” status for their contacts, including specific people.

The messaging platform is now rolling out a similar feature for users’ online presence, with the ability to block their online status from everyone or to mimic their “last seen” settings.

Notably, the system is reciprocal. If a user hides information from a specific contact, WhatsApp will hide their information in return.

WhatsApp users have been able to set messages to expire or viewed once before “self-destructing” for some time now.

However, the platform previously lacked screenshot detection meaning others could capture such messages before they disappeared.

It is now rolling out a feature that will let users prevent screenshots of their view-once messages.

WhatsApp also previously sent a message to all participants notifying them if someone left the group chat.

It is now rolling out an update that will drop the mass notification sent to group participants and instead inform only group admins when someone leaves a group.

According to WABetaInfo, the changes are rolling out in the latest Android and iOS betas.


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