Remember when WhatsApp rolled out the feature where we could speed up voice notes sent to us by people? With its new set of features, which will launch later this month, the app is moving in the right direction. The upgrade gives you the option to exit group conversations quietly, manage your online presence, and prevent screenshotting of single-view messages.
We’ve been called out several times for failing to respond to messages despite being online. With the next update, WhatsApp will allow you to select which contacts can see your “last seen” status and will also enable you to hide it from certain contacts. Saving us from the guilt of not responding. Someone that is never online and takes hours to respond, Aiiesha said, “THANK GOD!! I don’t open my WhatsApp for hours in case someone sees me online and then gets offended about me not texting back” when she heard of the new update.
The option to exit group chats discreetly without notifying anyone is another exciting update that greatly increases our level of privacy. Currently, the app alerts group members of your exit, which generates annoying questions from participants about why we have left the group and if we’re okay. “After school was over, all the students still stayed in the group, and every time someone left, it offended everyone,” said Hamza, a university student that was added to an endless number of groups during exam season, “I’ve been dying to leave, and now I can,” he said. This update is excellent for removing yourself from groups where the pictures and videos are constantly being forwarded.
Additionally, users will have the option to prevent others from screenshotting View Once messages, which are intended to vanish after being opened. According to WhatsApp, the screenshot blocking feature is presently undergoing testing and will be made available to users shortly.
We have had multiple nights where we ended up hitting the send button without realizing exactly what we were saying. What was irritating about WhatsApp was that you could only erase the messages you sent within a half-day window. With the most recent update, you get an additional two days to delete them. To spare ourselves the embarrassment, we’re still waiting for the update where it’s unclear who erased the message.
The Meta-owned messaging platform said the new features aimed to keep improving the privacy around online conversations. Mark Zuckerberg said: “We’ll keep building new ways to protect your messages and keep them as private and secure as face-to-face conversations.”
Ami Vora, WhatsApp’s head of product, said the platform was focused on building features that “empower people to have more control and privacy over their messages”. “Over the years, we’ve added interlocking layers of protection to help keep their conversations secure, and the new features are one way we continue to deliver on our commitment to keeping messages private,” she said.
Here are some Twitter reactions to the news of new updates.