WhatsApp Rolling Out New Update—What to Know

One option lets you prevent screenshots of View Once messages

Three new major privacy options have been added to WhatsApp, giving you more control over who sees your activity and what they can share.

WhatsApp has been steadily expanding its privacy features for some time now with end-to-end encryption, two-step authentication, and so on. Now, we can add a few more options to the mix thanks to the latest update.

WhatsApp blocked screenshot message


First is a way to leave a group chat without notifying everyone else. Instead, only the group chat's administrators will see when you leave. In theory, a feature like this would make it less apparent that you've left, reducing the chances of other chat members trying to message you later to ask why you're gone.

You'll also be able to control who can see your online status, with options to keep it open for everyone, limit it to contacts, or appear offline to everyone at all times. According to Facebook, this will allow you to browse through WhatsApp without worrying about anyone trying to strike up a conversation when you aren't interested.

WhatsApp online status sharing


Finally, screenshot blocking is a new way to further restrict and protect View Once messages. Some have been concerned about recipients being able to screenshot auto deleting messages, which renders the security of those messages useless. If added, the option to disable screenshots of these temporary messages could go a long way to making them useful again. Users could still get around this using another phone or camera to take a photo of the View Once message, but WhatsApp can't control that.

WhatsApp will roll out the options to leave group chats and control who can see when you're online this month. The ability to block screenshots of View Once messages is being tested and will be rolling out soon, according to Meta.

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