New privacy features for WhatsApp users have been introduced by Meta.
Users will get the option to select who can view their online status, leave group discussions in silence, and block screenshots on View Once messages. This will help keep WhatsApp chat “as private and secure as face-to-face talks,” according to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
This month, the features will start to be released, and a worldwide campaign will be launched, beginning in the UK, to showcase them.
The well-known messaging software now notifies all participants in a group conversation when someone leaves or is deleted by default.
While it is possible to prevent this for specific group conversations, when users choose to “exit group,” they are not given the option to depart quietly, which can lead to awkwardness, embarrassment, or drama for those attempting to leave unobserved.
Users will now be able to exit group chats without telling the other participants—only the group administrators will be informed—thanks to recent adjustments. The platform’s emphasis on “developing product features that empower users to have more control and privacy over their messages,” according to product head Ami Vora, is part of this.
She asserted that WhatsApp was the most secure platform for private communication. No other large-scale worldwide messaging service offers this level of protection for the messages, media, voice messages, video calls, and chat backups of its customers.
The upgrade will also provide users the opportunity to align their online status options with “last seen” settings by giving them the choice of letting just specific contacts—or no one—see when they are active on the network.
It’s always wonderful to give people more control, according to Janis Wong, research associate at The Alan Turing Institute, who told BBC News: “Users enjoy, and need, more control.”
However, she cautioned, their influence might be limited unless users were encouraged to use the features or made fully aware of them in the app. If consumers are unaware that this is an option, she continued, “it’s not necessarily particularly useful if it’s not default or if users aren’t prompted to evaluate their decisions.”
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