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WhatsApp is apparently updating its privacy settings by allowing users to disable their Last Seen, Profile Photo, and About status updates for specific contacts. At the moment, you can set these to either Everyone, My Contacts, or Nobody – so either anyone, or all your contacts can see your updates, or no one can. The update may help people who don’t want to show their last active status, profile picture, or current About status to a particular contact but still want others to see them. In contrast, the Groups and Status feature privacy settings already let you choose specific contacts who are not allowed to see your updates or add you to groups.
In a report, WhatsApp beta tracker WABetaInfo says that WhatsApp is working on its updated privacy settings for both WhatsApp for Android and iOS beta versions. The update is said to introduce a new My Contacts Except… option in addition to the existing Everyone, My Contacts, and Nobody to let users hide their ‘Last Seen’, Profile Photo, and ‘About’ status from specific contacts.
A screenshot has been shared by WABetaInfo that shows the new option in place on WhatsApp for iOS in the Last Seen privacy settings. However, the source claims that it would also be available to Android users and for other privacy settings, including Profile Photo and About status.
Among other settings, WABetaInfo reports that users who will disable their Last Seen status from their particular contacts would not be able to see their last active status on the app. This is similar to how you are not able to see the last active status of others if you have disabled their access to your status.
Back in 2017, WhatsApp introduced the My Contacts Except… privacy setting for its Status function. That was designed to let users disable specific contacts from viewing their status messages. WhatsApp also updated its group privacy settings in November 2019 by adding the My Contacts Except… option to let users have additional control for who among their contacts can add them to a group.
WhatsApp is reportedly testing its updated privacy settings internally at this moment, though it would be available to beta testers in a future update. Official details about the testing were not available at the time of filing this story.