You just can’t keep WhatsApp out of news these days. The popular messaging app which is being acquired by Facebook for a whopping $19 billion has plugged in a major privacy hole in its latest update on Android. WhatsApp users will now be able to hide their profile picture, ‘last seen’ time and status.
The latest version is not yet seeded to the Google Play Store, but can be downloaded from the company’s website. These new options are available under Settings -> Account -> Privacy. It’s kind of baffling that WhatsApp didn’t have a Privacy section under settings till now. The recent sale to Facebook has had many privacy freaks up in arms about their phone number and contacts being made available to Facebook, who is known for numerous privacy loopholes. Though this update doesn’t address that concern, it does provide more granular control over user’s privacy.
The option to hide ‘last seen’ has been available on the iOS version of WhatsApp, but Android version was lacking it for some reason. Android users will now be able to choose between these 3 choices:
- Everyone: anyone who has your phone number and has you as a WhatsApp contact will be able to see it.
- My Contacts: only the contacts whose phone number you have and who appear in your contact list will see it.
- Nobody: just you.
People will still be able to know if you are online, but once you close the app, they won’t see the ‘Last Seen’ time below your name. It’s true that some people were using this as a stalking tool, so it’s a welcome move from WhatsApp to provide control to these things for Android users as well.