WhatsApp will allow its users to leave groups without notifying other members and control who can see when they are online, as part of a privacy update for the messaging app this month, the company announced Tuesday.
“We will continue to create new ways to protect your messages and keep them as private and secure as face-to-face conversations,” Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, the company that owns WhatsApp, said in a statement.
When a user leaves a group, a notification now appears at the bottom of the conversation letting other members know who has left. And while users can already disable a feature that tells others if they’ve read a message, it couldn’t hide the fact that a user was online and using WhatsApp.
WhatsApp’s more than 2 billion users will also have the ability to prevent people from taking screenshots of “meant to be seen only once” messages, which are designed to disappear after being opened. The screenshot blocking tool is currently being tested, WhatsApp has indicated, and will be released to users soon.
Ami Vora, WhatsApp’s product manager, has pointed out that the platform has focused on creating functions that allow people “to have more control and privacy over their messages”.