Meta-owned instant messaging app WhatsApp will now hide your last seen status from unknown people. People will only be able to see your last seen status if they are on your contact list or if you have chatted with them before.
The feature was set to “Everyone” by default, but Whatsapp has now changed it to “My Contacts” instead. WhatsApp already has a “Nobody” option for people who value their privacy. This will prevent all users from seeing your last seen status.
There are also third-party apps that can log the last seen and the online status of select contacts. These apps are readily available on the App Store or the Google Play Store. These third-party apps could’ve been used to stalk other WhatsApp users to find out when they were online.
The company is also planning to expand this feature by adding the ‘My Contacts Except’ option. The feature is currently available on WhatsApp Beta and will soon make its way to the general public. This feature will enable users to hide their last seen status even for people on their contact list.
‘To improve the privacy and security of our users, we’re making it harder for people you don’t know and haven’t chatted with from seeing your last seen and online presence on WhatsApp. This will not change anything between you and your friends, family, or businesses who you know or have previously messaged”.WhatsApp Support
This is not the only feature that WhatsApp has added to improve the overall privacy of the app. You can now send disappearing messages on WhatsApp by default. Users can set them to delete after 24 hours, seven days, or 90 days. However, when you select disappearing messages on WhatsApp, other people will also get notified.
The platform has also added a view-once option for media. A slew of new privacy options has been due for a long time. It would be nice if WhatsApp could also add the ‘Except’ option to everything else (Profile photo, About, Status, Groups).