You can now hide your WhatsApp “Last Seen” status from specific contacts, in addition to the existing “Everyone,” “My Contacts” and “Nobody” options from earlier.
- WhatsApp is testing a new option for “Last Seen” statuses
- It lets you share your “Last Seen” with specific people
- The feature is being tested and should launch soon
WhatsApp testing new “Last Seen” privacy option
WhatsApp’s “Last Seen” status is a feature that permits you to tell others about the last time you’ve used the messaging app. WABetaInfo has spotted changes in a beta version of WhatsApp indicating you’ll be allowed to set your “Last Seen” status for specific contacts only.
Currently, you can share your “Last Seen” status with everyone who messages you on WhatsApp or limit this information to the people found in the Contacts app. If you don’ want anyone to see when you last used WhatsApp, you can also set your “Last Seen” to “Nobody.”
But with the new granular option for “Last Seen” currently being tested, you can adjust your “Last Seen” status privacy to prevent cherry-picked individuals from your address book from seeing see when you last opened WhatsApp. The fact that this feature appears to be nearly complete, and is being currently tested in the iPhone app, indicates it shouldn’t be long until the company makes this improvement available to all users.
When will the new “Last Seen” option launch for all users?
A is the case with these things, it is also possible for WhatsApp to permanently shut down the feature provided it receives enough negative feedback. We don’t think that’ll happen here because the more granular “Last Seen” options, the better.
We could all benefit from more privacy online and this appears to be one of those changes for the better, especially in those times when you’d like only certain people to see that you were active on WhatsApp when you shouldn’t have been.
How to change the privacy of your WhatsApp “Last Seen” status
To adjust who can see your “Last Seen” status, hit the Settings tab in WhatsApp for iPhone and choose Account → Privacy → Last Seen. From there, select one of the following:
- Everyone: Anyone who uses WhatsApp can see your “Last Seen” status
- My Contacts: Only WhatsApp users in Contacts can see your “Last Seen” status
- Nobody: Your “Last Seen” status isn’t shared with anyone.
- My Contacts Except (coming soon): Excludes specific contacts from “Last Seen”
“Last Seen” is about reciprocity—if you choose not to share your “Last Seen” status with anyone, then WhatsApp won’t reveal other users’ “Last Seen” status when chatting with them
The difference between “Last Seen” and “Online”
According to a support document on the WhatsApp website, there’s a clear distinction between “Last Seen” and “Online” statuses. While the former refers to the last time the contact used WhatsApp, the latter indicates when you were last online.
“If a contact is online, they have WhatsApp open in the foreground on their device and are connected to the Internet,” it reads. “However, it doesn’t necessarily mean the contact has read your message.”
Unlike with “Last Seen”, you cannot hide your “Online” status.