Instant messaging giant, WhatsApp is bringing in three new privacy features to users to give them more control over their conversations and added layers of protection when messaging.

In a blogpost on Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO, Meta, noted, “New privacy features coming to WhatsApp are exit group chats without notifying everyone, control who can see when you’re online, and prevent screenshots on view once messages. We’ll keep building new ways to protect your messages and keep them as private and secure as face-to-face conversations.” 

“The three new product updates join WhatsApp’s growing list of privacy features that users can take advantage of and that provide even more layers of protection, giving users more control over their messages,” according to the company’s press release. 

Using the new privacy features, WhatsApp users can exit groups silently, privately without having to notify everyone. Now, instead of notifying the full group when leaving, only the admins will be notified.

Users can also choose who can see them online. For the times users want to keep their online presence private, WhatsApp is introducing the ability to select who can and can’t see when they are online online. 

Privacy study

WhatsApp is also enabling screenshot blocking for View Once messages for an added layer of protection. This feature is being tested and will be rolled out to users soon.

As per the press release, the introduction of these new features are backed by a new WhatsApp privacy study that dives deeper into understanding the role of privacy when having meaningful conversations while messaging. According to the study, 72 per cent of people value being able to speak in an honest, unfiltered way — but more than 47 per cent are only comfortable doing this in a safe, private space. 

Users will be able to start utilising the features to leave groups silently and select who can see them online, by this month. Screenshot blocking is being tested and will be rolled out to the users soon.