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WhatsApp Adding New Privacy Features

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You can now quietly slip out of group chats.

Last year, a series of policy changes within WhatsApp, a chat app meant to prioritize user privacy, sparked concerns that the app was no longer as private as it billed itself as being. Since then, Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, has been workshopping means to enhance the app’s privacy features and entice back its userbase.

Today, Meta announced a handful of new privacy features that would be added to the app later this month. “At WhatsApp, we’re focused on building product features that empower people to have more control and privacy over their messages,” said Ami Vora, head of product at WhatsApp, in a statement.

“Over the years, we’ve added interlocking layers of protection to help keep their conversations secure, and the new features is one way we continue to deliver on our commitment to keep messages private.”

The most prominent of the new features is the ability to quietly slip out of a group chat without alerting every member of the chat. Once the update goes into effect, users can leave WhatsApp chats, and the only ones who will be informed will be the chats’ admins. In a similar vein, WhatsApp is also adding an invisible function, letting users hide their online status from other users, be they on their friends list or in a group chat. Finally, the update is adding a screenshot blocking function that prevents users from taking screenshots of your messages, ensuring that certain messages can only be seen once.

The first two features will release later this month, while the screenshot blocker will launch at an undetermined later point.