WhatsApp Rolling Out ‘My Contacts Except’ Feature, New UI for Contact, Group Info to Android Beta Users: Report

WhatsApp is reportedly rolling out “My Contacts Except…” privacy feature, allowing users to control who can see their information on WhatsApp. The instant messaging app is also releasing a new interface for Contact Info and Group Info for specific Android beta testers, as per a separate report. This interface was previously only available when viewing Business Info. Separately, Android beta users are also getting an updated Disappearing Messages feature. This feature allows users to choose among 24 hours, seven days, and 90 days ephemeral durations as default message timer for disappearing chats. Thirdly, WhatsApp has made an improvement to its multi-device feature.

The “My Contacts Except…” option is being introduced with WhatsApp beta for Android 2.21.23.14 update, as per WhatsApp features tracker WABetaInfo. This feature allows users to choose who can see their information such as “Last Seen” status, profile photo, and “About” description on WhatsApp. This will be a fourth option along with Everyone, My Contacts, and Nobody on the Last Seen settings menu. Users have to select the contacts who they don’t wish to share information with from the “My Contacts Except…” option. The contacts not selected here will continue to be able to see all information as they did earlier. Additionally, if a user disables their Last Seen for specific contacts, they won’t be able to see their Last Seen status either. This rule for Last Seen does not apply to About and Profile Photo.

As per another report by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp beta for Android 2.21.23.13 update is bringing a host of new features for beta testers. The first is the release of a new interface for Contact Info which was released with WhatsApp beta for Android 2.21.23.12. WhatsApp is said to be rolling out the new UI for more beta testers in the latest update. The report says users may also start seeing the new interface for Group Info.

Additionally, the Disappearing Messages feature which allows users to choose among 24 hours, seven days, and 90 days of ephemeral durations. The change was previously available for beta testers on iOS, and is now available for Android testers. Introduced by the Meta-owned app last year, the feature offered an option to automatically make a particular message disappear after seven days. The update now offers choices in time duration to automatically make messages vanish on WhatsApp.

The latest rollout also brings tweaks in the multi-device update. WABetaInfo tweeted that after the multi-device beta update, WhatsApp will not send notifications about security code changes when the linked device list is changed. Security codes are used to verify that the calls and the messages which a user sends to that chat are end-to-end encrypted. These codes are unique to each chat, WhatsApp says.


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Sourabh Kulesh is a Chief Sub Editor at Gadgets 360. He has worked in a national daily newspaper, a news agency, a magazine and now writing technology news online. He has knowledge on a wide gamut of topics related to cybersecurity, enterprise and consumer technology. Write to sourabhk@ndtv.com or get in touch on Twitter through his handle @KuleshSourabh.
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