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WhatsApp will soon let you hide your online status

Published Jul 4th, 2022 11:50AM EDT
Image: WhatsApp

The more control that social media platforms give us over our accounts, the better. For as much data as we hand over when we create said accounts, it’s the least the companies can do in return. That’s why we were excited to learn that WhatsApp is seemingly working on a new feature that will allow users to hide their online status.

Hide your online status on WhatsApp

According to WABetaInfo, a recent WhatsApp beta has spoiled the existence of a long-awaited feature in the works for the app. As the site reveals in a screenshot of the app, WhatsApp will soon give users the ability to hide their online status:

WhatsApp will soon allow you to hide your online status.
WhatsApp will soon allow you to hide your online status. Image source: WABetaInfo

WhatsApp is one of the more privacy-minded messaging apps on the market. Nevertheless, the app does lack some fairly basic functionality. For example, WhatsApp does not give you the option to hide your online status from your contacts. If you open the app, your friends can see that you’re online and start trying to message you.

At the moment, WhatsApp lets you decide who can see your Last Seen status. But in a future update, you will also be able to decide who can tell when you’re online. As you can see in the screenshot above, the app will give you two options: Everyone or Same as Last Seen. It’s not clear why WhatsApp chose to limit the feature, but it’s a step in the right direction.

The good news is that you can effectively enter “stealth mode” once this update rolls out. If you set your Last Seen status in the Privacy section of the Settings menu to “Nobody” and your online status to “Same as Last Seen,” you will effectively be invisible while using WhatsApp. This is a feature that users have been requesting for years.

Although the screenshot is of the WhatsApp app for iOS, WABetaInfo claims that the feature will also be available on the Android and desktop apps.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.

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