WhatsApp will soon let you hide your online status

To ensure its competitive edge in the market, the instant messaging platform WhatsApp is working on a new privacy-oriented feature.

It will reportedly allow users to choose who will be able to see their 'Online' status when they open the app for chatting or updating statuses.

The feature is currently under development and it is unclear when it will be released to the public.

Hide your online status on WhatsApp

According to WABetaInfo, a recent WhatsApp beta has spoiled the existence of a long-awaited feature in the works for the app. As the site reveals in a screenshot of the app, WhatsApp will soon give users the ability to hide their online status.

WhatsApp is one of the more privacy-minded messaging apps on the market. Nevertheless, the app does lack some fairly basic functionality. For example, WhatsApp does not give you the option to hide your online status from your contacts. If you open the app, your friends can see that you’re online and start trying to message you.

At the moment, WhatsApp lets you decide who can see your Last Seen status. But in a future update, you will also be able to decide who can tell when you’re online. As you can see in the screenshot above, the app will give you two options: Everyone or Same as Last Seen. It’s not clear why WhatsApp chose to limit the feature, but it’s a step in the right direction.

The good news is that you can effectively enter “stealth mode” once this update rolls out. If you set your Last Seen status in the Privacy section of the Settings menu to “Nobody” and your online status to “Same as Last Seen,” you will effectively be invisible while using WhatsApp. This is a feature that users have been requesting for years.

Although the screenshot is of the WhatsApp app for iOS, WABetaInfo claims that the feature will also be available on the Android and desktop apps.

The privacy feature will debut on WhatsApp beta for iOS

The ability to hide the 'Online' indicator will first debut on the WhatsApp beta for iOS.

The same feature will be introduced in a future beta update for Android as well as Desktop versions of the messaging app.

At the moment, we do not know when this privacy feature will be rolled out to the public.