WhatsApp is working on controls for who can view 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 working on a new privacy control that will limit who can see users' "Last Seen" status.
  • Users will be able to allow all contacts to see the status except specific ones.

WhatsApp is working on a new privacy feature that will allow users to have greater control over who can and cannot see their "last Seen" Status.

As reported by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is now testing the ability to give all of a user's contacts access to their "Last Seen" status while also preventing some specific contacts from seeing it at all.

Whatsapp Last Seen Privacy Screen

Whatsapp Last Seen Privacy Screen (Image credit: WABetaInfo)

WABetaInfo explains the change:

Several years ago WhatsApp has implemented 3 privacy settings: Last Seen, Profile Picture, About. These settings allow you to decide who can see those data when interacting with you on WhatsApp. To manage these privacy settings, WhatsApp has implemented 3 options: Everyone, My Contacts, Nobody.This means that, if you didn't want a specific contact could see your last seen, you had to set the privacy setting of your last seen to "Nobody". Today WhatsApp is finally working to introduce another option called "My contacts except…", so you can finally enable your last seen back, and you can disable it for specific contacts!

This is an important privacy change because it gives users more granular control over who will be able to see the last time they were in the WhatsApp app. That could be vital for some, and it's a welcome change.

The new feature is currently being tested and there's no indication of when we should expect it to make its way to the version of WhatsApp that's in the App Store. Hopefully the wait won't be too long, though.

WhatsApp continues to be one of the best iPhone instant messaging apps around and it's great to see a focus on privacy here.

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.