WABetaInfo reports that WhatsApp is currently working on a much requested privacy feature for its messaging service: the ability to hide your online status. While that might not sound all that impressive for some, the upcoming addition is actually pretty significant for privacy conscious users.
As usual, the developer team at WABetaInfo discovered the new feature from the recent Whasapp beta client. Though only available on the iOS version for now, the website says that WhatsApp is planning to also introduce the function to its Android and Desktop beta builds via a future update.
According to the screenshot provided by the website, you’ll be able to find the new Online Status setting under Settings > Account > Privacy in WhatsApp. Much like the ability to edit your Last Seen status that was recently released to the public, the upcoming feature will also allow you to either limit its visibility to certain people or disable it entirely.
Specifically, WABetaInfo says there will be two options to choose from: “Everyone” and “Same as Last Seen.” As implied by its name, the latter is highly convenient, as it will automatically select the same list of people who’ve been selected for your Last Seen setting.
As mentioned earlier, the ability to customise a user’s online status on WhatsApp is a feature that has been requested for a long while now. This allows users to use the messaging app at their own discretion, or to avoid certain individuals for whatever reason – most especially when they are on vacation and such. Meanwhile, Meta’s other messaging service, Messenger, has included this ability for quite some time now.
It is still not known when WhatsApp is planning to roll out the new Online Status privacy setting to the public version of its app. Chances are, we may have to wait for a couple of weeks or even months before the feature is finalised.