WhatsApp is working on a new privacy feature it should have had years ago

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp has been spotted developing a new privacy feature that will allow you to hide your online status.
  • The feature has been tested on iOS, but it is safe to assume that it will also be available on Android when it goes live.
  • It will complement a recent update to WhatsApp’s “last seen” functionality.

WhatsApp already allows you to hide your “last seen” status from people you’ve never chatted with, but an upcoming change could take that privacy feature a step further.

The Meta-owned messaging platform is working on a stealth mode that will allow you to limit who can see when you’re online. The upcoming capability, discovered by WABetaInfo (opens in new tab), has been spotted on WhatsApp’s iOS version, but it’s a safe bet it will also be available on WhatsApp for Android and the web.

As seen in the screenshot below, the upcoming feature will let you open the app without being noticed by anyone, depending on your preferences. You should be able to hide your online status from the same people you hide your last seen status from. Likewise, you may also hide it from anyone.

(Image credit: WABetaInfo)

It will be a welcome addition to WhatsApp’s recent tweak to its last seen feature, allowing you to prevent strangers from seeing when you last used the app. By default, your “last seen” privacy setting is set to be visible only to your contacts.

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