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WhatsApp readies more granular control of your 'Last Seen' status

Whatsapp Group Message on iPhone X
Whatsapp Group Message on iPhone X (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz/iMore)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp is testing a change that will allow people to block contacts from seeing their 'Last Seen' status.
  • The 'Last Seen' status shows people when you were last active in the WhatsApp app.

The popular instant messaging platform WhatsApp is testing a new change that will give people more control over their 'Last Seen' status. The status shows people when someone was last active in the WhatsApp app and a new change will allow people to block specific people from seeing that information.

The new WhatsApp change will allow people to grant all of their contacts access to their 'Last Seen' status except for specific users, reports WABetaInfo.

Whatsapp Beta Last Seen Status

Whatsapp Beta Last Seen Status (Image credit: WABetaInfo)

If you open WhatsApp Settings > Account > Privacy > Last Seen / Profile Photo / About, you might find a new option called "My Contacts Except…": this option lets you exclude some people from seeing your information on WhatsApp. For example, you do not need to set your last seen to "Nobody" if you have disabled it due to certain contacts: you can exclude them from seeing your last seen now. As we explained in the changelog about the Android update, when you select contacts in Last Seen > My Contacts Except, you won't be able to see their last seen, but this rule does not apply to your about and profile photo.

The change has been rolled out to some people who have the WhatsApp TestFlight beta installed and will surely become available to everyone who has the App Store version in due course. It's another move to help improve privacy with WhatsApp having already tinkered with the way the same status works previously.

WhatsApp is one of the best iPhone apps at what it does and is a free download from the App Store (opens in new tab).

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.