The new features aim to improve the privacy of online conversations, according to Meta’s own messaging platform
As part of a privacy update for the messaging app, WhatsApp allows users to leave group chats without notifying others and control who can see when they’re online.
Currently, if a user leaves a group chat, a notification will appear at the end of the conversation letting the remaining members of the group know who left.
The new features aim to improve the privacy of online conversations, according to Meta’s own messaging platform.
Around two billion people use Whatsapp every day, with the app being part of Zuckerberg’s ever-growing empire, which includes both Instagram and Facebook.
Here’s everything you need to know.
What else is new?
Users can also prevent others from taking screenshots of View Once messages that are meant to disappear once opened, as part of the update releasing later this month.
According to WhatsApp, the screenshot blocking tool is currently being tested and will be available to users soon.
And while users can already turn off a feature that notifies others when they’ve read a message, it was previously impossible to hide the fact that a user was online and using WhatsApp.
That will change with the release of the new update.
Why are the changes being made?
Some activists have expressed concern about the end-to-end encryption used to secure conversations on WhatsApp and other platforms, claiming it allows criminals to evade detection.
Mark Zuckerberg, who studied at Harvard University for two years, said that the new features being introduced by Whatsapp aim to further improve privacy in online conversations.
In a post announcing the WhatsApp update, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “We’ll continue to develop new ways to protect your messages and keep them as private and secure as in-person conversations.”
Ami Vora, head of product at WhatsApp, said the platform is focused on building features that “allow people more control and privacy over their messages.”
“Over the years we’ve added interlocking layers of protection to protect their conversations, and the new features are one way we continue to deliver on our commitment to keep messages private,” she said.
When will the update be released?
WhatsApp hasn’t confirmed exactly when the new features will roll out, but they are expected to roll out to users over the next month.