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WhatsApp’s New Privacy feature gives Users control over their Groups



It is pretty evident now that WhatsApp is making efforts to put an end to fake news that’s being circulated on its platform, especially in India. With around 200 Million active WhatsApp users in India and ahead of elections, the Facebook-owned messaging platform has recently announced a new feature within the app – Checkpoint Tipline, which can be added by a (+919643000888) number to your WhatsApp chats with which users can check the authenticity of the information or news that’s being circulated. This comes ahead of elections since its the peak season to circulate fake propaganda via the messaging platform.

Earlier, WhatsApp had also limited the ability to forward messages to not more than five users at a time; this step also has been introduced to put a break on forwarding wrong or fake information in massive numbers. Not just that recent beta findings have also showcased WhatsApp working on how many times a message has been forwarded. There have been other reports about the messaging platform working on a new reverse image search feature powered by Google, which helps to find out the credibility of the images that are being received on the messaging service.

It seems WhatsApp isn’t halting yet, the company has now introduced more convenient, or you can say a controlled feature to the messaging platform. The new feature will now give control to its users on whether they want people to add them to a particular group or not. Previously, any unknown person or any of the WhatsApp contacts on your smartphone could add you to any group without your consent. If the user added didn’t like the group, he/she would eventually had to leave the group every time; however, they can be added again without the users’ permission again, that was the scenario until now.

This will change with the new WhatsApp controls given to the user; he/she can decide on which group they want to get added to or doesn’t want to be added, for that matter. What this means is that WhatsApp now provides a new option in the Privacy settings of the messaging app called Groups. This works similar to WhatsApp status, photo or last seen sharing feature wherein you can allow/disallow everybody/only your contacts/nobody from your contacts list.

Firstly, users need to navigate to Settings – Account – Privacy and select Groups option, where they can see the above mentioned Nobody/ My Contacts/ Everyone options and can select accordingly. For instance, if the user wants to be added to any group through an invite-only regardless of the family, friends or any contact for that matter, they can select ‘Nobody’ in the Group settings. This allows users to be more private instead of getting added to any random or annoying groups. Further, can only be added after they accept the invitation from the particular group admin only. If the user selects ‘Everyone’ then he/she can be added to any group without their consent, which breaks the purpose of the feature introduced in the first place.

WhatsApp approach on users privacy seems to be commendable even though the parent company Facebook continues to be struggling for the same over the past two years. That said, it is recommended to the WhatsApp users to select the ‘Nobody’ option on the new WhatsApp privacy Group settings to avoid unwanted or random people adding you to the unknown groups. This new update has just started rolling out to Android users, for now. Hopefully, it might roll out to iOS users as well in some time. Stay tuned to PhoneRadar for more such interesting updates.


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