• WhatsApp messaging will allow to hide the phone number in group chats

WhatsApp will allow its users to

leave groups without notifying other members

and control

who can see when they are online

, as part of a privacy update to the messaging app this month, the company announced today.

"We will continue to create new ways to protect your messages and

keep them as private and secure as face-to-face conversations

," Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, the company that owns WhatsApp, said in a statement today.

When a user leaves a group, a notification now appears at the bottom of the conversation letting other members know who has left.

And while users can already disable a feature that tells others if they've read a message,

it couldn't hide the fact that a user was online

and using WhatsApp.

WhatsApp's more than 2 billion users will also have the ability to

prevent people from taking screenshots of

"meant to be seen only once" messages, which are designed to disappear after being opened.

The screenshot blocking tool is currently being tested, WhatsApp said, and will be released to users soon.

Ami Vora, WhatsApp's product manager, said the platform focused on creating features that allow people "to have more control and privacy over their messages."

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