WhatsApp will hide your ‘last seen’ status from strangers by default

WhatsApp’s messaging platform changed its Last Seen feature, which will no longer display to unknown contacts by default. Therefore, if you haven’t chatted with someone before, they’ll no longer be able to see information about your activity on the app.

As such, the new privacy measure comes after WhatsApp previously set the feature on “Everyone” by default, allowing anyone on WhatsApp to see your status.

The platform’s new update limits the visibility of your status to the people you’ve added on the platform and sets the feature to “My Contacts” by default instead.

However, this isn’t the only privacy-focused change WhatsApp has made recently, with the company giving users, last week, the option to make their messages disappear by default after a day, a week, or a few months.

Privacy has been the focal point for WhatsApp in 2021, having the company facing an inquiry at the start of the year after it announced changes to its privacy policy. The company was later fined $260 million for privacy violations in the EU.

On the other hand, a user explains that you may not see other people’s statuses on the platform anymore. “We’re making it harder for people you don’t know and haven’t chatted with from seeing your last seen and online presence on WhatsApp,” he notes.

The “My Contacts” option for your “last seen” status was already available, but it’s never been the default on the app. While It’s also worth noting that WhatsApp already has a “Nobody” option, preventing all users from seeing your status.

Your status on WhatsApp lets other contacts know when you were online last or if you’re currently using the app. While this may seem like a harmless way to keep track of your friends and family (and vice versa), WABetaInfo points out that some third-party apps exploit this feature.