WhatsApp Privacy Settings tweaked to allow hiding ‘Last Seen’, Profile Photo, and About sections from select contacts

WhatsApp Privacy Settings Tweaked
Customizable Privacy Settings arrive for WhatsApp. Pic credit: Christoph Scholz/Flickr

WhatsApp is gradually offering more control over the information users share on the platform. Upcoming tweaks to Privacy Settings could allow users to hide their ‘Last Seen’ from a select few contacts.

WhatsApp has been quite strict or rigid about the Last Seen, Profile Picture, and About sections. Moving ahead, these aspects will have some flexibility.

Tweaked Privacy Settings for WhatsApp to allow control over who can see the personal aspects of the messaging platform:

The majority of modern-day instant messaging platforms that work over the Internet offer a way to see when the contact was last online. The feature does offer a rough indicator about expecting a response.

Needless to mention, the Last Seen feature has been quite troublesome for many users. Although useful to a select few, users treat the ‘Online’ timestamp as a right to expect an immediate response.

Moving ahead, WhatsApp is about to make it a little easier to manage who can and can’t see profile information. The most needed change pertains to the last time a user logged on or whether he or she is currently online.

In its current iteration, either everyone can see the “Last Seen,” “Profile Picture,” and “About” sections, or no one can. There are no customization options. This is a strong differentiator between WhatsApp and other competing messaging platforms.

Moving ahead, WhatsApp may modify or relax the restrictions, indicate an experimental build of the cross-platform instant messaging platform.

Reports indicate WhatsApp is currently testing the ability to exclude specific contacts from seeing another user’s status. If the tweaked privacy settings do end up in an upcoming stable version of WhatsApp, users will be able to hide their “Last Seen” time from a select few people without disabling it altogether.

The new Privacy Settings will also extend the ability to hide information for the Profile Photo as well as About sections. Needless to mention, this is a big boost to the privacy of WhatsApp.

Facebook plugs an important privacy-eroding feature:

It is important to note that the old adage “What you sow, so shall you reap” continues to remain valid for the new Privacy Settings in WhatsApp. Simply put, disabling “Last Seen” for certain users will also prevent users from seeing the same information about them.

Reports indicate the new Privacy Settings are present in a WhatsApp version that is gradually rolling out for the iOS iPhone. This means WhatsApp for Android could soon get these new settings.

WhatsApp users had long suffered from these weird and strict rules. Users who kept the Last Seen information available for their contacts, also exposed the same to everyone using WhatsApp.

As reported earlier, the Last Seen was open to exploitation. The information could be strategically used to stalk or cause harm.

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