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WhatsApp starts testing option to hide Last Seen status

Published Apr 19th, 2022 12:21PM EDT
WhatsApp
Image: oatawa/Adobe

Your WhatsApp Last Seen status allows your contact list to see the last time that you open the app. It’s useful for checking when your contacts have been around recently. However, it can also be used to usurp turning off read receipts. Now, the messenger is testing an option to hide who can see your Last Seen status in its latest iOS beta release.

You may soon be able to hide your WhatsApp Last Seen status from select contacts

WhatsApp gets disappearing messages and multiple durations.
WhatsApp has been adding new privacy-centric features and is now testing more control over your Last Seen status. Image source: WhatsApp

Last week, WhatsApp detailed five new features it was bringing to the messaging app. These features were mostly all something that has been in other messaging apps for a while. Now, though, it looks like the messenger might be following up with even more asked for features, like the option to hide your WhatsApp Last Seen status.

Users have been able to limit their WhatsApp Last Seen status to just contacts for a while now. And, if you want, you can disable the feature altogether. However, this is the first time that we’ve heard news that it will let you cherry-pick which contacts can see it.

WABInfo reports that the new feature can be seen in the latest iOS beta version of the messaging app. This version is 22.9.0.70, and the feature appears under multiple options in the WhatsApp settings. These sections include your WhatsApp Last Seen status, as well as your profile photo and the about section of your profile.

WhatsApp started rolling out the “My Contacts Except…” feature on April 16, 2022. It had previously released the same update to Android users in a previous beta.

Why WhatsApp is giving you this option

WhatsApp Last Seen status beta test on Android, too
The option to control who can see your Last Seen status is already in testing on WhatsApp for Android, too. Image source: Shutterstock

As we noted above, the WhatsApp Last Seen status is a good indicator of how active a user has been. And, if you want to have it on, to allow family or friends to keep track of when you’re around, it can be really handy. However, it can also be a way for certain users to track when you’re using WhatsApp.

So why is this a problem? If you have someone like that in your life, why not just remove them from your WhatsApp? Sometimes that isn’t an option. Some people use WhatsApp to talk with coworkers or managers at work. As well as for other communication needs. Some users might just want to have better control over who can see their WhatsApp Last Seen status.

With the new option, you’d be able to pick and choose which contacts you didn’t want to have access to your Last Seen status. As such, it would give you just a bit more control over your privacy when it comes to Meta’s messaging app.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices. Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.