Don’t want your ex to see you’re online? WhatsApp launches STEALTH MODE that lets you select who can and can’t see when you’re on the app
- WhatsApp has announced the launch of three new privacy features today
- Stealth mode lets you control who can and can’t see when you’re online
- Users can also leave groups silently without notifying other members
- Fianally, WhatsApp is testing screenshot blocking for View Once messages
Whether you’re trying to play it cool with a date or putting off responding to your ex, WhatApp’s online indicator can be unhelpful.
Now, the messaging app has launched a stealth mode that allows you to select who can and can’t see when you’re on WhatsApp.
‘We’ll keep building new ways to protect your messages and keep them as private and secure as face-to-face conversations,’ Zuckerberg said.
The tool is one of three new privacy features announced by Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of WhatsApp’s parent company Meta
How to access Stealth Mode
- Open WhatsApp
- Tap the Settings icon in the bottom right corner
- Tap Account
- Tap Privacy
- Tap Last Seen & Online
- Under ‘Who can see my last seen’ you’ll fine a new ‘who can see when I’m online’ option
The three new privacy tools have been launched as ‘added layers of protection when messaging,’ according to WhatsApp.
‘New privacy features coming to WhatsApp: exit group chats without notifying everyone, control who can see when you’re online, and prevent screenshots on view once messages,’ Zuckerberg said.
Stealth mode is rolling out to all users this month, and will allow you to choose who can see when you’re online.
‘Seeing when friends or family are online helps us feel connected to one another, but we’ve all had times when we wanted to check our WhatsApp privately,’ WhatsApp explained.
‘For the times you want to keep your online presence private, we’re introducing the ability to select who can and can’t see when you’re online.’
WhatsApp is also adding the ability for users worldwide to leave groups silently this month, without having to notify everyone.
Instead, only admins will now be notified when you leave a group.
Finally, WhatsApp is testing adding screenshot blocking for View Once messages.
‘View Once is already an incredibly popular way to share photos or media that don’t need to have a permanent digital record,’ WhatsApp explained.
‘Now we’re enabling screenshot blocking for View Once messages for an added layer of protection.’
WhatsApp prides itself on its impressive range of privacy tools, including end-to-end encryption, two-step verification, and disappearing messages.
WhatsApp prides itself on its impressive range of privacy tools, including end-to-end encryption, two-step verification, and disappearing messages
Ami Vora, Head of Product at WhatsApp, explained: ‘At WhatsApp, we’re focused on building product features that empower people to have more control and privacy over their messages.
‘Over the years, we’ve added interlocking layers of protection to help keep their conversations secure, and the new features is one way we continue to deliver on our commitment to keep messages private.
‘No other global messaging service at this scale provides this level of security for their users’ messages, media, voice messages, video calls, and chat backups.
‘We believe WhatsApp is the most secure place to have a private conversation.
‘And to spread the word about these new features, we’re also kicking off a global campaign, starting with the UK and India, to educate people about how we work to protect their private conversations on WhatsApp.’
BEST WHATSAPP ALTERNATIVES
If you’re considering deleting WhatsApp, you’ll be happy to hear that there are several alternative apps to choose from:
With more than 400 million users, Telegram is one of the most popular WhatsApp alternatives.
While it looks very similar to WhatsApp, what sets it apart is the fact that it gives the option to set messages to self-destruct after a given period of time, leaving no trace.
Telegram also offers end-to-end encryption.
However, as a WhatsApp spokesperson pointed out, Telegram ‘does not offer end-to-end encryption by default so it’s not necessarily more secure than WhatsApp’.
Signal is one of the most secure messaging apps, thanks to the fact that it is open-source.
This means that the code for the app is publicly available to view, making it near-impossible for the app’s creators to sneak in any backdoors that could allow governments or hackers to spy on your messages.
If you use an iPhone, you may consider simply switching to iMessage, Apple’s own messaging app.
The app has a number of impressive features included no character limits, the ability to send pictures and videos, and of course Apple’s animated emoji feature, Animoji.
Unfortunately, iMessage is only available for iPhone users, so you’ll struggle to interact with anyone using an Android.
4. Google Messages
Google’s answer to iMessage is Google Messages, an Android-only messaging service.
The app replaces your standard SMS app, and integrates with all of Google’s apps and services, making it easy to share images or use Google Assistant.
5. Facebook Messenger
If you were put off using WhatsApp due to its sharing of data with Facebook, Facebook Messenger may not be the best option for you.
However, the app offers a number of helpful features, including games, secret conversations and video calls.