Finally, WhatsApp is adding their most-awaited group invitation feature to the beta program, WAbetainfo has confirmed the development. Therefore, WhatsApp users will soon have complete control over who can add them to WhatsApp groups.
For those of you who are not familiar with WhatsApp's group invitation feature, it requires your approval before adding to any WhatsApp group. Right now, WhatsApp users have no control over who can add them to WhatsApp groups. For example, anyone with your WhatsApp-registered mobile number can add you to any group, without your consent. WhatsApp is addressing this problem using the group invitation feature.
Previously, WhatsApp restricted users from adding enterprise (WhatsApp Business) accounts to WhatsApp groups. Apparently, WhatsApp is extending the feature to all users.
WhatsApp group invitation system is not available yet. WAbetainfo folks have shared the screenshot of WhatsApp for iOS beta. The feature is yet to go live for Android beta testers. But if we look at the screenshots, WhatsApp will let users configure their invitation preferences under new Group privacy settings.
Go to WhatsApp > Settings > Privacy. Find the option for Group settings. Once you tap the Group settings, you can decide who you want to be able to add you to WhatsApp groups. You can choose from 'Everyone,' 'My Contacts' and 'Nobody.'
WAbetainfo notes in case admins are unable to add you to WhatsApp groups due to your privacy settings, a separate chat will be created so that you can choose whether you really want to join the group. You can simply choose from these two options: Accept or Decline.
Unlike Facebook group invitation system, WhatsApp group invitations remain valid only for 3 days. So, you will have 72 hours to choose if you want to join the group or not. After 72 hours, the invitation will expire. If you want to join the group after 72 hours, you will need a new invitation or you can use a group invite link.
We don't know yet whether this is a two-way system. For example, if the group invite link is publicly available and if someone wants to join the group, they can do it easily on their own since there is no request mechanism. Therefore, group admins have no control if they want you to be part of the group or not.