Just this week, Meta/Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was talking up the privacy and security of Meta-owned WhatsApp, arguing it is better than iMessage. Now, WhatsApp is adding another layer to further boost its credentials as the messaging app to use if you value privacy.
Specifically, WhatsApp now allows users to choose who sees them online. Until now, the online status has been non-negotiable. If you are online, all your contacts can see that you are available. Under the new feature, users can now control who sees their online status.
Previously, WhatsApp let users hide their “last seen online” status, but it still showed when the user was online. Now, WhatsApp has released a feature where users can select who sees their online status and who doesn’t.
It is possible to hide your status by heading to Settings > Privacy > Last Seen, and then the Online selection. Here it is possible to choose who sees your online status from the following options: Everyone, My contacts, My contacts except (allowing you to choose which contacts see your status), and Nobody.
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) October 20, 2022
Better Than iMessage
In a Facebook post this week, Zuckerberg points out in a Facebook post that WhatsApp encrypts all messages no matter the platform. While iMessage secures messages on iOS, it switches messages to non-encrypted SMS when sending them to Android devices.
Another improvement on Apple’s service Zuckerberg discussed is WhatsApp’s ability to disappear chats with a single tap of a button. This is a new tool that makes it impossible to recall messages on your phone (if you choose). Yet another WhatsApp feature the CEO mentions is end-to-end encryption backups, again something that is not available in Apple’s service.
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