WhatsApp starts testing granular privacy controls on latest iOS beta update: report

WhatsApp is reportedly rolling out new granular privacy controls for some testers on the app’s latest beta for iOS, which allows for advanced management of privacy settings on the app. First spotted in development last year, the feature is designed to give users granular control over who can see their last seen, about and profile picture on the messaging service. While some testers can now access these features on betas for iOS and Android, WhatsApp has yet to announce when these privacy settings will roll out to all users.

According to a report by WhatsApp feature tracker WABetaInfo, the Meta-owned messaging service has started rolling out the granular privacy controls for profile picture, ‘About’ and ‘Last seen’ description on WhatsApp. Users who signed up to receive betas through TestFlight can update to WhatsApp Beta for iOS and may see features enabled in the app. The new settings appear to be enabled through a server-side switch, as some users may have to wait 24 hours to see the new settings, according to the feature tracker.

whatsapp granular privacy controls online whatsapp wabetainfo

WhatsApp’s new privacy controls for users of the latest iOS beta
Photo credit: WABetaInfo

Users who have updated to the latest beta can visit WhatsApp settings and select Accountthen press Privacy. Under each of the three sections titled On, last seen and Profile pictureusers should be able to see a new option titled My contacts except… – which will prevent all selected contacts from seeing their profile picture, last seen or about profile sections. Previously, WhatsApp only allowed users to choose from Everyone, My contactsand Nobody.

Excluding a contact from showing when you were last seen on WhatsApp will hide their last seen from you, but this is not the case while excluding them from showing your about or last seen, according to the feature tracker. The same goes for WhatsApp for Android Beta users, who also received the same feature last month with WhatsApp for Android Beta rolling out on March 29. Gadgets 360 was able to confirm that Granular Privacy Controls is enabled and working on the latest version of WhatsApp beta for Android.

Earlier this week, WhatsApp announced a new Communities feature to help administrators gain more control over groups. With the new feature, multiple groups can be added to a community and admins can send a single message to everyone. WhatsApp is also bringing other improvements to the messaging service, including an increased file sharing limit, new reactions and the ability to make group audio calls with up to 32 people simultaneously, according to the company.


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