WhatsApp is finally making good on its commitment to give users more control over who can add them to group chats.
The Facebook-owned messaging app is now rolling out a global update that offers a more advanced version of the basic group controls it unveiled, but didn’t widely launch in April.
Initially, the company touted new group controls that would enable users to select ‘Nobody’, ‘My Contacts’, and ‘Everyone’ options in terms of who could add them to groups.
Those controls never made it beyond a release in India, after some misuse of the tool let to the further spread of misinformation. Now WhatsApp has tweaked the tool, replacing the ‘Nobody’ option with ‘My Contacts Except’ and is rolling it out globally with the latest version of the app.
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In an updated blog post, the company writes: “Based on feedback from users during our initial rollout, instead of the “Nobody” option we are now providing a “My Contacts Except” option. This allows you to choose to exclude specific contacts or “select all”. This update is rolling out to users around the world on the latest version of WhatsApp.”
Anyone who attempts to add you to a group without permission will receive a notification advising them you can send a personal message with a link to access the group, so you can join if you wish. Following said link will tell you who’s in the group and will give you the option to join or dismiss the notation. The invite expires in three days.
Users have long called for group controls to help guard against spam messages and now it seems the company is finally going to deliver. It could go one step further by giving users the option to require permission to be involved in group chats by default, but it appears that’s not on the agenda for now.