WhatsApp’s new feature to change group chats for users: Here’s how it works

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New Delhi | Published: October 22, 2019 4:18 PM

WhatsApp users can change the settings for group privacy on the beta version of the app

WhatsApp has begun adding a new group privacy feature for Android, iOS users

WhatsApp has time and again stressed how it is always developing new features to give users better control over their privacy. One of the features that are aimed at improving user privacy is group privacy that was introduced earlier this year. WhatsApp is now making a few changes to the group privacy settings to make it more convenient for users. A new option has been added to the settings in favour of allowing users to choose who can add them to groups.

According to WABetaInfo, WhatsApp group privacy settings now feature a new option called ‘My contacts except’ that essentially replaces the ‘Nobody’ option. This means that users can now block contacts that they do not want the group invitations from. The three options under the group settings now are – ‘Everyone’, ‘My contacts’, and ‘My contacts except’.

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The first one allows anyone to add a user to group chats, the second option restricts people who are not in a user’s contact list from adding them to a group chat while the people in the contact list can add them to the group chat. The third option prevents even people in contacts to add without permission, which can be sought via an invitation link to the group.

While the tweak in the settings for group privacy seems more plausible now, it comes with a little annoyance. Earlier, when a user set the setting to ‘Nobody’, it meant no one can add the user to groups without permission. With ‘My contacts except’, the user needs to select all people in the list to stop getting added to groups without consent. Moreover, when saving a new WhatsApp contact to the phone, the user needs to select the same entry in the ‘My contacts except’ list, or else that contact will automatically be allowed to add the user to groups without approval.

The new group privacy option is now rolling out to users as a part of Android beta version 2.19.298 and iOS beta 2.19.110.20. However, it is being said that many beta users may not see the option as of now even after updating to the aforementioned versions or higher. After a full beta rollout on both the platforms, the feature is likely to make its way to the stable versions.

Besides, WhatsApp Web now supports consecutive playback of audio messages. It was rolled out for beta version on Android earlier this year and is yet to arrive on the stable channel.

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