To offer users more privacy in their online status, WhatsApp is rolling out the ability to hide users’ online status from everyone or specific contacts.
The platform started testing this a while ago in its iOS client, followed by its Android client, and now rolling to more beta users. When enabled, users can block everyone from seeing their online status or select specific contacts to hide from them.
WhatsApp Online Status Hiding
WhatsApp is picking up the pace to compete with rival messengers in developing and rolling out new features often and keeping the community excited. We’ve seen new emojis, group features, Communities, etc., coming up lately, while updates about privacy and security too are frequent.
The latest one coming in this pursuit is the ability to hide your online status from your contacts. We’re not talking about the 24-hour status update – that has been for quite a few years now, but the last seen online status.
Whenever you’re on the WhatsApp application, you’ll status will be displayed as “Online” by default. And there’s no way you can avoid this from showing up – except in some WhatsApp mod apps that are banned now.
Well, realizing this as a necessary privacy setting, WhatsApp started rolling out this feature in the latest beta update – as some users reported to WaBetaInfo. People running on WhatsApp version 18.104.22.168 for Android can see this option showing up in their WhatsApp settings > Account > Privacy > Last seen.
Here, you can set specific contacts by viewing your online status on the app. If not, you can block everyone from viewing your online status – giving you outright privacy. Earlier, Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced this setting as one of the three privacy-centric WhatsApp features coming soon.
As we see it rolling out to more beta users now, WhatsApp warns that hiding people from viewing your online status means – you, too, can’t see their online status either. This is similar to hiding your read receipts in the chat, offering more privacy on the cost of acknowledgment.