WhatsApp is launching a slate of new “stealth mode” privacy features designed to make it easier for users to hide from their friends.
Users of the Meta-owned messaging will be able to select which of their contacts can tell see they’re online, WhatsApp revealed in a Tuesday blog post.
“Seeing when friends or family are online helps us feel connected to one another, but we’ve all had times when we wanted to check our WhatsApp privately,” WhatsApp said.
Another feature will let users stealthily leave group chats without notifying all other members of the group.
Now, only the administrators of a group chat will be notified when a member leaves. Previously, all members would receive a notification.
A third privacy update will block users from taking screenshots of Snapchat-like “View Once” messages, which are intended to be a way to share photos or media without leaving a digital trial.
The online status and group chat updates will be rolled out to all users starting this month, while the “View Once” update will come at an unspecified date “soon,” WhatsApp said.
WhatsApp, which was acquired by Meta for $19.3 billion in 2014, has more than 2 billion users worldwide.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg touted the updates in a Facebook post, writing, “We’ll keep building new ways to protect your messages and keep them as private and secure as face-to-face conversations.”