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WhatsApp users can soon leave group chats without letting everyone else know

Photo credit: Mourizal Zativa / Unsplash

WhatsApp announced a slate of new privacy features on Tuesday coming to its encrypted messaging app. Most users will likely be delighted to know that they will soon be able to leave group chats in secret.

“We’re excited to bring several new privacy features that provide even more layers of protection and give you more control over your messages,” WhatsApp said in the announcement post. “This is all part of how we work to keep your conversations secure on WhatsApp.”

Almost all messaging apps that support group chats let all members know when someone leaves the conversation, which usually leads to some awkward interactions. Thanks to a recent update, though, WhatsApp users will be able to avoid that. One of the new features announced this week is that users will be able to silently leave group chats.

Leaving WhatsApp group chats will not be entirely secret. Instead of all members seeing who leaves the group, WhatsApp said only admins will be notified if someone left the conversation. The company said this feature will be released to all users sometime this month.

Also rolling out this month is the option for users to hide their online status from their contacts. This means users will be able to check for new activities on their WhatsApp accounts without telling their contacts that they are back online. WhatsApp said this feature will allow users to choose who can and cannot see their online status.

WhatsApp previously introduced the View Once feature, which allowed users to send photos and other media files that get automatically deleted once the receiver sees them. The company is improving this functionality by blocking screenshots for View Once messages.

Users should still be careful, though, with the images they send and to whom they choose to share them. While WhatsApp will block screenshots for View Once messages, the receiver could still use a secondary phone to take photos of the media they receive. WhatsApp said screenshot blocking is still being tested and it is still unknown when it will go live.

Earlier this week, WhatsApp also announced an update to deleting sent messages. The company announced on Twitter that users will now be able to delete messages “a little over 2 days” after they were sent.

Photo by Mourizal Zativa on Unsplash

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