WhatsApp is receiving a new update that will soon allow you to block people from adding you to Groups. The privacy focused feature is now rolling out in phases to all iOS and Android users of the WhatsApp messaging service, and offers users more micro control over who can add them to group messages on the platform. This will hopefully help protect individuals against spammers from sending messages with offensive content or malicious codes, hence preventing the spread of spam, malware and more such objectionable content on the platform.
The feature is being made available to versions 188.8.131.52 on iOS, and 2.19.298 on Android. Users who have already received the latest update can access the new privacy setting through settings, by tapping on Accounts, selecting Privacy and subsequently choosing Groups. While the previous set of options on the tab included choices for you to be added to Groups by everyone, your contacts or nobody, the new feature removes the 'nobody' option, and replaces it with 'My contacts except...'. This allows you to selectively block users from adding you to Groups, alongside selecting all contacts from being barred from adding you to Groups.
The new feature is different from completely blocking a user from contacting you over WhatsApp, doing which not only prevents the contact from adding you to Groups, but also from seeing your profile photo. online status and sending messages in any form. With the new Groups filter, if a user is banned from adding you to a group, they can still send you a private invitation to join a group. This is significantly safer, since it lets you review your decision to join a group, voluntarily.
The update for both Android and iOS devices is presently rolling out to users worldwide, and will soon be available for everyone, starting with the versions numbered as stated above.