It is a fact that social media plays an important role in today's world. They are key to transferring and transforming of information whether it's valid or not. Keeping a check on this, WhatsApp has announced a new update on its privacy settings - ‘The group invitation’ feature. This is an important update that relates to its privacy settings of the group chat where the user can decide if he/she has to be added to the group chat.
Till recently anyone using Whatsapp could be added to a group chat without their consent. Especially when this social media platform plays a major role in the spreading of news whether it be forged or real. This will prevent people from sharing and consuming fake news. In India where Whatsapp has a customer base of 200 million, this will prove to be useful, considering the upcoming elections .
In the present scenario of forming group chats, anyone could add you into a group without your acknowledgment. The only way to keep away from this, is by blocking the group admin. The update will be a relief to users who get randomly added on to these groups. The users will be given a choice to accept or reject the invitation sent to them. This new feature allows for the specific user's opinion to be taken into consideration while adding them to a group.
How does this feature allow this?. The WhatsApp user can alter the settings by going to privacy settings in accounts and selecting the option as groups (Account>Privacy>Group). They can choose from among the three options provided. The three options provided by WhatsApp viz 'Nobody', 'My Contacts', and 'Everyone'.
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Nobody: This category of users cannot be added to the groups under any circumstances without getting their approval. The user will receive a request for approval before they can be added to the group.
The user will have 3 days to accept the group invite in the 'Nobody' option. After which it expires and the user will have to wait for the next invitation. The user won't receive two invitations from the same group simultaneously.
My contacts: Users in your contact can add you to a group. And if not in the contact list they will receive a link invite to join the group.
Everyone: This option will let anyone add you to a group.
And finally the 'Everyone' option represents the current scenario, i.e anybody could add a user to a group without their consent.
However with these new privacy features you can decide how groups should have access to your whatsApp number and have control over the group chats message received. This procedure will give users the choice to limit communications from people who are not in the user’s contact list. This could also prevent bots or other fake accounts from user groups to spread content.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook said in Facebook’s Q4 2018 earnings call that they are trying to combine Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram Dm. The updates on Whatsapp maybe a step closer to that process. Facebook-owned apps are likely to become interoperable in the future.