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WhatsApp is adding another anti-stalking and pestering feature

WhatsApp is working on another privacy tweak that will allow users to hide their online status completely.

The Meta-owned company recently added the ability to hide the ‘Last Seen’ status from certain contacts and this sounds like the next step.

It’ll add another layer of protection for those WhatsApp users who don’t want contacts (or non contacts) to see when they’re actively using the app. Some people can feel stalked when using WhatsApp and/or don’t want people hassling them over whether they’ve replied yet.

We all know that in text speak, the question ‘did you get my message?’ actually translates to ‘why haven’t you responded to my message?’ Some people just have no respect for boundaries!

The usual suspects at WABetaInfo has discovered the feature within an iOS test version version of WhatsApp. The settings screen shows a ‘who can see when I’m online’. The options will be ‘Everyone’ and ‘Same as Last Seen’, allowing users to align their online visibility with the last seen status.

WhatsApp online status
Image credit: WABetaInfo

Just like Last Seen, users will sacrifice their ability to see whether other people are online if they decide to hide their own online status. With the Last Seen settings users have the opportunity to choose Everyone, My Contacts, My Contacts Except, and Nobody.

It’s not clear yet when WhatsApp will bring the feature to consumers, but the company has been pretty good with rolling out these features with a quickness over the last couple of years.

Shoring up the privacy settings is one way to help users feel safer using the app, when that hasn’t always been the case. Users are now more able to deal with unwanted additions to groups, react to messages with emojis rather than typing out a reply, and so on.

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