WhatsApp spotted testing new custom privacy setting for ‘About’ status

WhatsApp has been spotted testing a new custom privacy setting for Android users so they can hide their “About” status updates from specific contacts. The option to hide the “About” status for specific contacts, which is not yet available to beta testers, would be available in addition to the existing privacy options. The change is likely part of the improved privacy settings noted earlier that would also be available for the Last Seen and Profile Photo updates in the instant messaging app.

In a report, WhatsApp beta tracker WABetaInfo shared a screenshot showing the new custom privacy setting in the app to hide “About” status updates from specific contacts. It’s titled My contacts except… and appears to be available alongside the existing Everybody, My contacts, and No one privacy options.

whatsapp android about status update testing image wabetainfo whatsapp

WhatsApp has been spotted expanding the privacy of your ‘About’ status updates
Photo credit: WABetaInfo

Users who select the new privacy setting can exclude certain people from their contacts who would no longer be able to see their “About” status updates.

WABetaInfo found the new setting in the WhatsApp for Android beta, although it is not yet available to beta testers and is reportedly still in development.

The My contacts except… option is probably not limited to the ‘About’ privacy settings and would also be available for Last Seen and Profile Picture updates, as previously suggested by WABetaInfo. A screenshot showing the privacy settings option for profile pictures on a WhatsApp for Android version also appeared online last week.

Originally, in 2017, WhatsApp introduced the My Contacts Except… option for the status feature. It was later extended to group privacy settings in November 2019.

Exact details about when the update will be available to users are not yet known. Given WhatsApp’s history of lengthy testing new features before going live, the custom privacy setting for ‘About’ status updates is unlikely to be available to end users anytime soon.


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