Thursday, October 6, 2022

WhatsApp testing ‘online’ status hiding on Android

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WhatsApp introduced the option to hide your last seen from specific contacts last year November, but the strive for privacy did not stop there.

This month, the application announced a feature that will hide your ‘online’ status from specific contacts or from everyone. The feature will soon be available on WhatsApp Beta for Android.

According to WABetainfo, Android version 2.22.16.12 would allow users to access a new privacy setting. Users will be able to access the new feature by opening the app and navigating to Settings > Account > Privacy > Last seen and online reveals an option to choose who can see you when you’re online.

The option is directly tied in with the Last seen setting as you can only choose whether to have everyone know your availability or only those who can see your last seen.

The interlinking of the last seen with the online status might seem odd but it makes sense. If you don’t want someone to see your last seen, then you would definitely not want them to see your online status either. So it saves the hassle of configuring two different settings.

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It seems like a straightforward addition at best. But it’s a feature that should further bridge the gap between the official WhatsApp app and mods like GB WhatsApp, which users may install for the extra privacy options. It’s not just the knock-offs that the update addresses — feature-packed rivals like Telegram have had similar capabilities for a long time. So while it’s good to see it finally arrive on WhatsApp, the new experience is still in beta. You’ll have to wait until it hits the stable channel to use it.

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