WhatsApp rolls new profile privacy controls out to iPhone beta testers

Whatsapp Message Hero
Whatsapp Message Hero (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp is rolling its new profile privacy features out to beta testers.
  • People will be able to control who can see various aspects of their profile.

Instant messaging platform WhatsApp is rolling a new profile privacy feature out to users who are part of its TestFlight beta program, giving them more control over who can see their information.

According to WABetaInfo, the privacy feature — previously outed but not yet evailable — is now being made available to people who are part of the WhatsApp TestFlight. But even then, it isn't available to all.

Whatsapp Last Seen Privacy Screen

Whatsapp Last Seen Privacy Screen (Image credit: WABetaInfo)

With the new feature live, people will have more granular control over who can see various aspects of their profile including when they were "last seen," as well as their profile photo and "about" section. Users will be able to select 'Everyone,' 'My Contacts,' 'My Contacts Except...,' and 'Nobody.' But there are some things to note in the new feature's current implementation, notes the report.

  • People that have an outdated version of WhatsApp or they don't have the feature enabled still cannot see your information if you exclude them.
  • When you exclude some contacts from seeing your last seen, you won't be able to see their last seen as well, so what happens when you set your privacy settings for last seen to "Nobody".
  • There might be possible to see the last seen of excluded contacts, but it's a bug.

While it's obviously positive news that this important privacy change is now in the hands of beta testers, we still don't know when it will be made available to the rest of us. WhatsApp is one of the best iPhone apps at what it does, and more privacy options are always very welcome indeed.

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.