The development was tracked by WABetaInfo, which said that the beta version 22.214.171.124 of WhatsApp showed four profile photo privacy setting options instead of the usual three.
Profile pictures on WhatsApp: Among the many changes that WhatsApp has been reported to be testing lately, the newest one is said to be the profile picture privacy setting. Rumour mill has it that WhatsApp for Android is testing a setting that would allow users to hide their profile pictures from certain people in the contacts. This new custom setting is likely to be available alongside the already existing privacy options that let you choose between showing your profile picture to all contacts, everyone or to noone. Reports suggest that these are a part of enhancing the privacy of users, and this custom setting would also be implemented to ‘last seen’ and ‘about’ status.
The development was tracked by WABetaInfo, which said that the beta version 126.96.36.199 of WhatsApp showed four profile photo privacy setting options instead of the usual three. Along with the already present Everyone, My Contacts, and Nobody settings, there seemed to be a new option that said ‘My Contacts except…’. Clicking on the last option is said to allow users to select contacts that they do not want to display their picture to.
It is likely that this setting option would not remain restricted just to profile picture, but would also be expanded to ‘last seen’ and ‘about’ status updates, the report said.
However, it is not yet clear if the instant messaging platform is looking to roll out this feature in Android initially, especially since reports had also earlier shown a screenshot of an iPhone having the same custom setting for the ‘last seen’ feature. This custom setting had been launched by the Facebook-owned platform for ‘status’ in 2017, and for group privacy settings in 2019, so it is safe to say that the setting is long due for last seen and profile pictures.
Even though the feature has been spotted in a recent WhatsApp for Android beta release, the feature is not yet available to beta testers. It is also unclear if this setting, if at all being released, would be released in phases – going out for profile pictures first and then for ‘last seen’ and ‘about’ – or if it would be released for all the three functions at once.