WhatsApp groups are beautiful, terrible things. You can spend all day chatting with your closest friends, which is great — but you can also end up stuffed into a group you have no interest in and then straight-up drown in notifications that you're trying to ignore. With one hand WhatsApp giveth, with the other it taketh away. Well, the company has taken a step to give users a little more control of their groups with new WhatsApp group privacy settings. These new settings will give you more of a say in which groups you're added into (Hallelujah!) and also who can add you to groups.
Before these new setting were introduced, basically anyone — even someone not in your contact list — could add you into a group message, which was a little uncool to say the least. But now, you'll be able to choose who can add you to groups. You can either pick "Everyone," "My Contacts," or "Nobody." If you pick "Contacts," only your contacts can add you — and if you pick "Nobody" then you can still be added to groups, but people will have to send you a private invitation over direct messaging. You'll have three days to accept or deny the request to be added to the group, which I can only assume is the scientific amount of time it takes to decide how annoying the people in that group are.
"With these new features, users will have more control over the group messages they receive," the company explained in a blog post. "These new privacy settings will begin rolling out to some users starting today and will be available worldwide in the coming weeks to those using the latest version of WhatsApp."
If you want to change the settings, it's pretty easy to do. To enable it, go to the Settings section of your app, then tap Account > Privacy > Groups. Once you're there, you'll be able to select one of three options: "Nobody," "My Contacts," or "Everyone." Then, wait for the group chat invitations to roll in.
WhatsApp regularly makes tweaks to its services and customer options — recently it limited the number of WhatsApp messages you can forward in an effort to fight the spread of fake news. While most of the WhatsApp changes make it easier to get in touch with people you care about — like using the WhatsApp for web option or WhatsApp group video calls, the best way for lazy friends to spend time together without leaving their respective couches — it's sometimes good to put a lid on things.
Allowing more control over who can add you to group messages is definitely a welcome addition, because I'm still getting dozens of notifications from groups I stopped checking months ago and darn it I never wanted to go to the cheese tasting in the first place, I don't eat cheese so why the did you add me in the first place?!! Anyone, it's about time. Now, if they could find away for WhatsApp to not distract you from your work/family/everything else important, then the updates would truly be complete. Until that moment, I'll keep chasing those double blue ticks and hoping for the best.