WhatsApp has announced a new privacy setting to give users more control over which groups they would like to be a part of.

WhatsApp users can now decide who can add them to groups
Atom Social Media Wednesday, April 03, 2019 - 16:33

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, WhatsApp announced a new privacy setting to the Group invite system to give users more control over who can add them to groups. Users now have three options to select from – ‘Nobody,’ ‘My Contacts’ or ‘Everyone.’ Previously, WhatsApp users could be added to groups without their consent.

Now when users select the ‘Nobody’ option, they have to approve joining every group to which you're invited and 'My Contacts' means only users that they already have in their address book can add them to groups, the Facebook-owned company said in a statement.

For users who choose the above settings, the person inviting them to a group would be prompted to send a private invite through an individual chat, giving users the choice of joining the group. Users will have three days to accept any group invite after which it would expire. The 'Everyone' option would open users to be added to any group, just like it has remained on the app so far.

To enable the feature, users can go to the ''settings'' option in WhatsApp app and choose one of the three options under Privacy settings.

"With these new features, users will have more control over the group messages they receive," WhatsApp said.

These new privacy settings have begun rolling out and would be available worldwide in the coming weeks on the latest version of WhatsApp.

WhatsApp counts India as one of its largest markets with over 200 million users and so this move assumes importance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, touted to be the largest democratic exercise in the world.

The Election Commission had issued certain dos and don’ts to the social media platforms, including WhatsApp, and they had agreed to cooperate in ensuring that fake news or undesirable messages, which may influence the voters in any manner, are not allowed to be spread among the public.  

Last month, it was reported that WhatsApp was testing a new feature to tell users how many times a message has been forwarded and if it’s a ‘frequently forwarded’ message. Last year, it had restricted forwarding messages to five chats at once.

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