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Zuckerberg announces new privacy features for WhatsApp users

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New privacy features for WhatsApp users have been announced. And now users will be able to leave group chats silently, control who can see their online status and block screenshots on View Once messages.

Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said this would help keep WhatsApp messaging “as private and secure as face-to-face conversations”.

It will begin rolling out the features this month, highlighting them in a global campaign, starting in the UK.

The popular messaging app currently alerts all members of a group chat to someone leaving or being removed by default.

And while there are ways to disable this for individual group chats, the option to leave silently is not presented to users when they choose to “exit group” – sometimes causing awkwardness, embarrassment or drama for those trying to leave unnoticed.

Mark Zuckerberg announced three new privacy features to kick off a new WhatsApp privacy campaign

But now, they will be able to leave without notifying all other group chat users, only group admins.

This will also see users given the option to allow only certain contacts – or no-one – to see when they are active on the platform, bringing online status options into alignment with “last seen” settings.

But unless users were prompted to use the features or made fully aware of them in the app, their impact could be limited.

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