Over the years, WhatsApp has added a lot of privacy-focused updates and features. From the option to turn off read receipts, or blue ticks, to even the ability to keep your profile image a secret from some or all of your contacts. The ‘Online’ indication that appears next to your name or phone number on other people’s devices every time you open and use the app is one WhatsApp feature that hasn’t changed in a while.
The ‘Online’ status indication may be completely disabled in the future, allowing you to access the app anytime you want without your friends, family, coworkers, or pretty much anybody else finding out. It now appears like WhatsApp is finally working on this.
According to a recent claim from WABetaInfo, which has an excellent track record of foreseeing WhatsApp’s future features, the platform is developing a feature that would allow users to choose who may view their online status.
WhatsApp will provide you a choice between two settings for your “Online” indication, as shown in the example shown above. You can either set it to “Everyone” so that anybody can see when you’re online (unless they are blocked), or you can set it to “Same as Last Seen” so that only people who have permission to view your Last Seen indication can see your “Online” indicator.
The number of persons who may see your “Online” status will also vary depending on how you select your “Last Seen” setting. For instance, no one will be able to view your “Last Seen” or “Online” indications if you set them to “Nobody” and “Same as Last Seen,” respectively.
According to the article, even though the screenshot was captured on an iOS device, Android and desktop users will ultimately be able to utilize the functionality as well. Keep in mind that the functionality is in construction, thus a time estimate is not possible. Beta users will receive the implementation first, and stable users should receive the update after any issues have been resolved.