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WhatsApp makes controversial change to screenshot feature

Joe Harker

Published 
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WhatsApp makes controversial change to screenshot feature

Featured Image Credit: True Images / Alamy Stock Photo piyamas dulmunsumphun / Alamy Stock Photo

WhatsApp is making a few changes to the way things work as it has announced a new package of features and privacy updates.

There are three big changes coming, with the first two beginning to be rolled out to all users this month and the third still in testing with a view to being released soon.

The first major change to WhatsApp is going to be the ability to choose who you appear online to.

You'll get to decide which of your contacts get to know if you're online or not, and you'll be able to rejig the list of people who can see that info at any time.

Following on from that is the ability to leave a group silently, with only the group admins knowing if you've stepped out of the chat so your exit isn't going to be a big deal.

However, the third change has attracted some controversy from people who don't think it's a step in the right direction for the app.


One of the more controversial changes has been the announcement that users will soon be able to implement screenshot blocking on view-once messages.

WhatsApp introduced messages that would disappear after being viewed once, and now they want to ensure the sender has full control over how permanent the content they send out is.

Credit: M4OS Photos / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: M4OS Photos / Alamy Stock Photo

By introducing screenshot blocking, which WhatsApp say they're testing now and are expecting to roll out 'soon', it means the recipient isn't allowed to screenshot a view-once message to keep it after it expires.

There has been some backlash to this, with some WhatsApp users taking to social media to complain about the clampdown on screenshots.


One wrote: "I might as well delete WhatsApp...i love screenshots....they reduce the admin of typing the whole story of he said/she said."

Another said: "How do you strike a balance between privacy and having screenshots for evidential purpose on WhatsApp?"

Some users have said they might just use screen record if they need to, while others have suggested they might just try to take a picture of their phone screens if they can no longer screenshot some messages.

However, others seem to support the changes to the app as it allows them greater control over the content they send out in messages.

If something's sent out it might be a relief to know it's not going to exist permanently.

WhatsApp has responded with an explanation behind its reasoning for introducing the new feature.

A spokesperson told LADbible: "View once messages were designed for sharing sensitive messages that didn't need to become a permanent digital record.

"We’re enabling screenshots to help prevent the messages from being shared beyond the intended recipient."

Topics: WhatsApp, Technology, News

Joe Harker
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