WhatsApp is finally allowing its users to decide whether they want to get added to groups. The announcement comes ahead of 2019 Indian general elections.
"WhatsApp groups continue to connect family, friends, coworkers, classmates and more. As people turn to groups for important conversations, users have asked for more control over their experience," WhatsApp said in a statement.
WhatsApp has added new group privacy setting to let users decide who can add them to groups. Previously, WhatsApp users could be added to groups without their consent.
All you need to do is go to the 'settings' option in WhatsApp and select one of three options: Nobody, my contacts, or everyone.
If you choose 'nobody,' you have to respond to every group joining request. If you choose 'my contacts' option, anyone from your WhatsApp can add you to groups without your friends. In that case, the person inviting you to a group will be prompted to send a private invite through an individual chat.
Users will have 72 hours to respond to a group joining request.
"With these new features, users will have more control over the group messages they receive," WhatsApp said.
WhatsApp is rolling out these new group privacy settings to select users starting today. The feature will be available worldwide in the coming weeks.
WhatsApp has more than 200 million users in India. In the past, WhatsApp has faced flak from the Indian government after a series of mob-lynching incidents, triggered by rumours spreading on WhatsApp, claimed lives last year.
Under pressure to stop rumours and fake news, WhatsApp had last year restricted forwarding messages to five chats at a time. of late, WhatsApp has been creating awareness through advertisements in newspapers and running television and radio campaigns educating users on how to spot fake news and misinformation.
Earlier, WhatsApp issued an ultimatum to Indian political parties to prevent misuse of the platform
(With inputs from PTI)