WhatsApp is probably the most popular messaging app on the planet. A lot of people use it for various reasons. However, in recent years, group chats have become a central part of the app. While some people relish the opportunity to engage with peers and friends in a group scenario, others feel it’s pointless and don’t even care for the constant notifications of new messages. Well, if you fall into the latter category, WhatsApp is making it possible for you to deal with this situation.
The Facebook-owned messaging app will now allow you to control who adds you into group chats. You will have a number of options to choose from. Users can go for “Nobody”, “My Contacts”, or “Everyone.” In essence, if you decide to choose “Nobody”, this means that no one can add you into a WhatsApp group without your permission. This option works best for people who literally hate group chats. The “My Contacts” option ensures that only people in your contact list can add you to group chats. The final option, “Everyone” is pretty much what we are already used to. Anyone who has your phone number can add you anytime.
If someone tries to add you to groups and your settings do not allow it, they will be forced to send you a private message with an invite link. The link will be active for 72 hours. So, if you have selected “Nobody” for example in your settings, you will get a good three days to decide whether you are finally ready for a serious group chat or not. If you decide earlier, you can choose to reject or accept the invite right away.
This new idea is an important step in addressing important privacy issues on the messaging app. For example, we have seen cases where political groups and activists add as many random numbers as possible in WhatsApp groups in an effort to generate buzz for their causes. But that’s not all. In an effort to enhance security on the platform, WhatsApp has also limited message forwarding. The messaging app is launching a new image search tool designed to counter fake news on the platform. The company began testing a new fact-checking service in India.
The new group chat feature will start rolling out globally from next week. You will need the most up to date version of WhatsApp to be able to use it. In order to activate it, just hit the Settings button on the app. Once you are there, go to Account and then hit Privacy. Go to Groups and you will see these options. Activate the one you want and enjoy. You can also go back and change your settings anytime.
In case you don’t have a problem with getting in as many groups as you can, then you don’t need to change anything. WhatsApp is targeting people who want to limit the number of groups they are added to. This also gives you the chance to personalize your group chat experience by accepting invites only from groups you care about.