WhatsApp has announced it is rolling out a new privacy setting starting today that will allow all users to choose who can add them to WhatsApp group chats. Announcing the new privacy settings in a blog post, WhatsApp said, “As people turn to groups for important conversations, users have asked for more control over their experience. Today, we’re introducing a new privacy setting and invite system to help you decide who can add you to groups.”
WhatsApp is giving users three levels of group invite privacy options, which users can select by going to the Settings screen in the WhatsApp app and then tapping Account > Privacy > Groups. These three options include:
- Everyone: This option allows any WhatsApp user to add you to a group.
- My Contacts: This option lets anyone in your phone’s contacts add you to a group. If a WhatsApp user is not in your phone’s contacts, that user will not be able to add you to a group.
- My Contacts Except: This option will let anyone in your phone’s contacts add you to a group except for certain contacts that you specifically want to exclude.
In cases where someone is trying to add you to a group but they aren’t included in one of the above permissions, the group admin will be prompted to send you an invite via a private WhatsApp message. WhatsApp says you’ll then have 72 hours before the invite expires to accept it.
WhatsApp says the new group privacy features will begin rolling out to some users today and all users worldwide will see the new feature “in the coming days” provided they are running the latest version of WhatsApp on iOS or Android.