WhatsApp's new privacy controls let you hide your profile photo and online status from nosy family members. Last November, WhatsApp was seen working on new privacy controls that would allow users to hide their last seen and online status. It's a much-needed counterattack against rival Telegram, which already supports hiding this information on a per-person basis – as well as profile pictures from specific people.
It's been seven months since then, and the Meta-owned platform has announced that it's rolling out detailed options for who's allowed to see your profile data.
WhatsApp's privacy features are generally not as strong as Telegram's. In addition to being able to hide their profile pictures and activity status, users can sign up for Telegram without entering a phone number. It makes a world of difference when it comes to personal communication. Previously, WhatsApp allowed its users to hide their profile photos and Last seen status from only people registered to your contacts or nobody who owned their number.
Now WhatsApp users can specify in their phone book the contacts they do not want to share their profile photos, online statuses and bios with. If you want to try this for yourself, go to the app's settings, hit Account then Privacy and tap on the personal information you want to hide. Except for My New Contacts… the option should also appear here. From this menu, you can choose the people with whom you will not share all this information. You can't see the online status of people who can't see your last seen, so keep that in mind.
These improvements come a few days after WhatsApp introduced some useful improvements for group calls.
WhatsApp Privacy options
Telegram allows users to specify who they always want to share your profile photo and Last seen status with. Incorporating a positive approach may be more beneficial for those with a very tight social circle. However, with WhatsApp's new privacy controls, you can hide your profile photo and online status from prying eyes, nosy friends and family, and business contacts.
The option is rolling out via server-side push and you should see it on your phone as long as you're running the latest version of WhatsApp (available via APK Mirror).