• WhatsApp is introducing a new function that will give users control over who can add them to groups.
  • You can also opt out of all groups.  
  • Almost half of South Africans now use WhatsApp.

WhatsApp has introduced a new privacy setting and invite system to help you decide who can add you to groups.

The company announced in a blog post that new features will give users more control over the group messages they receive.

To enable it, go to Settings in WhatsApp, then tap Account > Privacy > Groups and select one of three options: "Nobody", "My Contacts", or "Everyone".

"Nobody" means you'll have to approve joining every group to which you're invited, and "My Contacts" means only users you have in your address book can add you to groups.

In those cases, the person adding you to a group will be prompted to send a private invite, giving you the choice of joining the group, WhatsApp says. You'll have three days to accept the invite before it expires.

WhatsApp says the new privacy settings will be available worldwide in the coming weeks to those using the latest version of the platform.

WhatsApp remains by far the most popular messenger app in South Africa; according to a recent study, 49% of adult South Africans use WhatsApp – compared to Facebook Messenger's 32%.

Last year, WhatsApp dramatically limited the ability for people to forward messages after the Indian government blamed fake news going viral via messages for a recent spate of mob violence.

The change made it much harder for people to forward messages — including fake news — to lots of contacts at once. Now users around the world will only be able to forward messages to 20 people at once.

In India, where viral fake news on WhatsApp has been blamed for increased mob lynchings, people will only be able to forward messages to five people at once. The previous forwarding limit was 250.

SA companies start to WhatsApp

Local companies are increasingly using WhatsApp to communicate with their clients.

MTN last week introduced a new service that allows customers to buy data via Whatsapp. The company plans a WhatsApp-based chat service that will eventually also allow customers to speak to customer support and upgrade their packages.

MTN follows Absa, which recently introduced WhatsApp-based “chat banking”.

For more go to Business Insider South Africa.

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