WhatsApp has rolled out new privacy settings for groups that will give users more control over their overall experience by helping them decide who can add them to groups. The confirmation comes almost two weeks after WABetainfo -- a portal that tests WhatsApp features before they are made available to a larger public -- reported about the feature. It also talked about the nominal changes that the Facebook-owned instant messaging app would bring in the stable version.
In simpler terms, Group Privacy feature will help users select who can add them to groups because it has been observed that many users were added in various groups they did not want to be a part of. To enable it, users need to go to Settings > Account > Privacy > Groups and select one of three options -- Everyone, My Contacts or My Contacts Except -- from a screen that looks like the image below.
If you choose:
Everyone: Anyone can add you in a group and no invites will be received privately.
My Contacts: The user can be added in groups from his/her contacts. In this case, a user will receive an invite to join a group from people not in his/her contacts list, privately.
My contacts except..: This option will let a user precisely decide who cannot add him/her in a group.
WhatsApp says that with these new features, users will have more control over the group messages they receive. These new privacy settings have started to roll out to some users and will be available worldwide in the coming days. Both Android and iOS users who wish to use this feature will need to update their apps.
Previously, when the feature was rolled out to a small group of people, the third option was 'Nobody' that barred everyone from adding you to a group without your permission. The option is now gone for good and you can select all contacts using the Select All option to bar everyone from adding you in a group.
‘Based on feedback from users during our initial rollout, instead of the Nobody option we are now providing a My Contacts Except option. This allows you to choose to exclude specific contacts or ‘select all’,’ WhatsApp said. Further, if a user adds new contacts in the address book, he/she must update the Group Privacy Settings, by selecting Select All option again to stop the new contacts to add him/her in a group.