You might soon be able to choose who can see when you are online on WhatsApp

Compared to other messaging platforms, WhatsApp has the most basic of features when it comes to notifying others when you are online. You get the choice to either let everyone know when you were last online, only restrict it to the contacts you have saved, or if you are a private person, hide the information from everyone else.

However, when it comes to showing when you are actively using the app, WhatsApp does not have any control to restrict contacts, or a few of them from knowing when you are online, making it difficult for you to ignore that annoying family member or workmate who will not let you rest.

This feature, however, could soon become a reality thanks to a report from WABetaInfo who have dug through WhatsApp’s code and made the discovery. The code snippet alongside a screenshot from the iOS version of WhatsApp hints at how the restriction would come into play.

On your WhatsApp homepage, navigating to Settings > Account > Privacy > Last Seen, gives you a few options, namely; Everyone, My Contacts, My Contacts Except and Nobody.

WaBetaInfo reveals that the new change will introduce a new option just below, restricting who can see when you are online. The choices will only be two, either ‘Everyone’ or ‘Same as Last Seen’ referring to your settings on who can see when you were last online.

This configuration basically makes it impossible to have different settings for ‘Who can see I’m online’ and ‘Who can see my last seen’ features. It is also important to note that hiding your ‘last seen’ and ‘online’ will also prevent you from viewing the same information for your contacts list. The classic case of you can’t have your cake and eat it.

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On more WhatsApp updates, you can now react to messages with any reaction, as opposed to the pre-selected ones when the feature was introduced.

To get started, long press on a message, after which you will be presented with six emoji reactions. However, with the new update, there is a plus sign that when selected opens up an expanded array of emojis that you can select from. You also get to choose your preferred skin tone for the reactions.

Naftaly is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for tech, video games and pop culture. When he is not writing articles for AndroidKenya, he is probably rewatching the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the hundredth time. Email at Twitter @KarisNaftaly

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