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WhatsApp’s new privacy options let you hide your profile picture and online status from nosy family members

Last November, WhatsApp was spotted working on new privacy controls that would allow users to hide their last seen and online status as well as their profile pictures from certain contacts — a much-needed counter to competitor Telegram, which already supports hiding this information on a per-contact basis. Well, it’s been seven months and Meta’s platform is just announced it rolls out those detailed options for who is allowed to see your profile information.

WhatsApp’s privacy features are generally not as strong as Telegram’s. Not only can users hide their profile picture and activity statuses, they can also sign up for Telegram without entering a phone number. That makes a world of difference when it comes to personal communication. Previously, WhatsApp allowed its users to hide their profile pictures and last seen statuses from anyone who has their number, only people saved in your contacts, or no one at all.

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Now WhatsApp users can specify contacts in their phonebook with whom they do not want to share their profile picture, online status and biography. If you want to try this out for yourself, go to the settings of the app, press Accountthen Privacyand tap the desired personal information you want to hide. The new My contacts except… option should also be visible here. From that menu, you can select the contacts you don’t want to share all this information with. You can’t see the online status of contacts who can’t see your Last Seen status, so keep that in mind.

These improvements come a few days after WhatsApp rolled out some useful improvements to group calling.

Telegram lets users specify contacts with whom they always want to share your profile picture and last seen status. Incorporating an affirmative approach may be more helpful for those with a very close social circle. Nevertheless, WhatsApp’s new privacy controls mean you can hide your profile picture and online status from prying eyes, prying friends and family and business contacts.

The option is being rolled out via a server-side push and you should see it on your phone as long as you’re running the latest version of WhatsApp (available via APK Mirror).

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