WhatsApp was discovered while testing a new custom privacy setting for Android users that allows them to hide their “About” status updates from certain contacts. The option to hide the “About” status for certain contacts who are not yet available to beta testers would be available alongside the existing privacy options. The change is likely part of the improved privacy settings previously discovered and would also be available for the Last Seen and Profile Photo updates in the instant messaging app.
In a report, WhatsApp beta tracker WABetaInfo shared a screenshot showing the new custom privacy setting in the app to hide “About” status updates from certain contacts. It bears the title My contacts except … and seems to be available alongside the existing ones Anyone, my contacts, and No one Privacy settings.
Users who select the new privacy setting can exclude certain people from their contacts who can no longer see their “About” status updates.
WABetaInfo has found the new setting in WhatsApp for Android Beta 18.104.22.168, but is not yet available for beta testers and should still be under development.
the My contacts except … The option is likely not limited to the “About” privacy settings and would also be available for Recent Photos and Profile Photos updates, as previously suggested by WABetaInfo. A screenshot showing the option for the privacy settings for profile photos in a WhatsApp for Android version also appeared online last week.
WhatsApp originally introduced the My contacts except … option for its status function back in 2017. It was later expanded to include privacy settings for groups in November 2019.
Full details of when the update will be available to users will be announced. Given WhatsApp’s history of testing new features long before they went live, the “About” custom privacy setting for status updates is unlikely to be available to end users anytime soon.