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WhatsApp rolls out privacy-first features to control who can see your info

WhatsApp message thread on iPhone X
WhatsApp message thread on iPhone X (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz/iMore)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp has made new privacy changes.
  • People now have more control over who can see things like the last time they were online and more.

WhatsApp has announced a new privacy feature that ensures people have more control over the kinds of information other people can see. As of now, users can choose who can see their profile photo, last seen status, and more.

The change, which WhatsApp announced via Twitter, means that people now have more granular control over who is able to see information that could be used for nefarious deeds. According to the tweet, people can now "select who from your contact list can see your Profile Photo, About, and Last Seen status." The instant messaging outfit has also updated its security page to explain more about the settings that are now available.

Adjust your privacy settings to control who sees your information. You can set your last seen, profile photo, about, or status to the following options:Everyone: Your last seen, profile photo, about, or status will be available to all WhatsApp users. My Contacts: Your last seen, profile photo, about, or status will be available to your contacts from your address book only. My Contacts Except…: Your last seen, profile photo, about, or status will be available to your contacts from your address book, except those you exclude. Nobody: Your last seen, profile photo, about, or status won't be available to anyone.

WhatsApp is already one of the best iPhone apps for people who need to stay in touch with those who don't have access to iMessage and the addition of new privacy controls is more than welcome. In a world where privacy and protections are more important than ever, it's always promising to see companies and apps take action.

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WhatsApp is available for download from the App Store (opens in new tab) now and is free for all.

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.