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[Update: Rolling out now] WhatsApp adds group privacy options, blacklists in the latest beta build

The long-awaited group privacy and blacklist options for WhatsApp groups is now rolling out in the latest beta build.

Initially spotted by WABetaInfo, the feature is now rolling out to those on the 2.19.298 Android beta build or on the iOS beta build and brings with it enhanced controls over who can and can’t add you to group chats.

Alongside this pretty big feature, you’ll also gain the ability to blacklist specific contacts from adding you to group chats. If you have ever been added to a group chat that you simply didn’t want to be in, then the new WhatsApp group privacy settings might be the best update in quite some time.

[Update 11/07]: The new privacy controls and features are rolling out now after being confirmed in an official WhatsApp blog post. WhatsApp also confirmed that the “Nobody” option is being removed in favor of a “My Contacts Except” option as per WABetaInfo’s findings.

Be sure to update your version of the messaging app to the latest build. If you’re wondering how to enable the new privacy controls, see the instructions below:

To enable it, go to Settings in your app, then tap Account > Privacy > Groups and select one of three options: “Everyone,” “My Contacts,” or “My Contacts Except.” “My Contacts” means only users you have in your address book can add you to groups and “My Contacts Except” provides additional control for who among your contacts can add you to a group.

Hopefully, this move will help save you from the laborious task of removing yourself from group chats individually, only to end up being placed back in without your consent. It may also help curb phishing by strangers and those not in your contact list, as you’ll need a private invite before you join a group chat.

To access the new enhanced privacy controls, just head to your WhatsApp messenger Settings > Account > Groups, and you’ll be greeted with brand-new options. You can limit invites from “Everyone,” “Contacts,” or “My Contacts Except.” That final option is essentially a way to blacklist specific people in your address book.

WhatsApp had already began testing the feature formerly known as “group privacy” in India earlier this year, but the wider rollout is more than overdue. As with all beta tests of the popular messaging app, it’s unclear when the group privacy options will come to a full WhatsApp build.

More on WhatsApp:

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Avatar for Damien Wilde Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter @iamdamienwilde. Email

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