WhatsApp is rolling out new security features that give you more fine-grained control over who can and can't see certain account details.
The affected settings in your WhatsApp account (Opens in a new tab) are your profile picture, description, and last seen status. Now you can decide which of your contacts can see these three details. The last seen control, in particular, has been an ongoing feature since November 2021. This level of control extends to the other two settings.
Before this security update, you could allow the public to view the details of that particular account, restrict access to contacts only, or prevent everyone from knowing. And you do not have to worry about the rest of your contacts, because everyone who is not limited will see this information well.
With the new update, keep in mind that when you limit your Last Seen status to a certain person, you won't be able to see their status either. This update will come to Android and iOS. You can check if you have the update by going to Settings in WhatsApp, then selecting Account, then Privacy.
If you click on Profile Picture, for example, you should see a new entry that says “My contacts except…”. This is the new update where you can select who can see your data. If you do not have it, it is recommended to update WhatsApp. We were unable to get confirmation from WhatsApp if this feature will roll out globally.
In addition to security updates, WhatsApp has also added three new group calling features. You can now mute or message specific people during a call. There will also be a new indicator that will appear at the bottom of the screen whenever someone joins a large-scale call. This information comes from the Twitter account of Will Cathcart (opens in a new tab) who is the head of WhatsApp.
As for upcoming features, WhatsApp news site WABetaInfo has spotted a new beta version for Android phones (opens in a new tab) called Android 220.127.116.11. The beta version has a new admin feature called “Group Membership Approval”.
According to WABetaInfo, the feature allows group creators to control who can participate in a chat. Group chat members can invite other people to the room, but these additional people must be approved by the creator. Group membership approval can be enabled by going to the group chat settings. WABetaInfo also discovered new gender-neutral emojis (opens in a new tab) in the beta version.
If you want to try the beta version, you can join the Google Play beta program (opens in a new tab) now and download version 18.104.22.168 to your device. Earlier this week, TechRadar covered another WhatsApp feature that makes it easy to transfer data from Android to iOS.