WhatsApp is bringing a new privacy setting and invite system that lets you decide who can add you to groups on the platform.
Have you ever been added to a group on WhatsApp without your permission? A group that you didn’t even want to join? Well, many people have, and they’ve been asking for WhatsApp to give them more control over who can add them to groups, and the ability to accept or turn down the invitation.
Whatsapp New Privacy Setting
Now, WhatsApp is introducing a new privacy setting and invite system that gives users a new level of control. To enable the new setting, just go to Settings, tap on Account > Privacy > Groups and select one of the three available options: “Nobody”, “My Contacts”, or “Everyone”. If you choose the first option, you will have the ability to approve each group you’re invited to.
The second and third options are also self-explanatory, but people inviting others to a group will have to send a private invitation through a chat. You will then get three days to accept that invite before it expires automatically.
These new features give users more control over the group messages they receive from others. They will be rolling out to some users this week, but will also be available to users worldwide in the next few weeks.
Make sure you’ve updated your WhatsApp app to see the new options.
Creating and inviting into groups
Creating a group
To create a group:
- Go to the CHATS tab in WhatsApp.
- Tap Menu > New group.
- Alternatively, tap New chat > New group.
- Search for or select contacts to add to the group. Then tap the green arrow.
- Type in a group subject. This will be the name of the group that all participants will see.
- The subject limit is 25 characters.
- You can add emoji to your subject by tapping Emoji .
- Optionally, add a group icon by tapping the Camera icon, where you can choose to use your Camera, Gallery or Search Web for an image. Once set, the icon will appear next to the group in the CHATS tab.
- Tap the green check mark when you’re finished.
Inviting into groups via links
If you’re the group admin, you can invite people to join a group simply by sharing a link with them. To share a group invite link:
- Go to the group in WhatsApp, then tap the subject of the group.
- Alternatively, tap and hold the group in the CHATS tab. Then tap Menu > Group info.
- Tap Invite via link.
- Choose to Send link via WhatsApp, Copy link or Share link via another app.
- You can also share a group invite using a QR code by tapping Menu > Print group QR code. To print the QR code, your phone needs to be connected to a printer. Android recipients of the QR code can scan the code using a third-party QR code reader. iPhone recipients can scan the code using their phones’ cameras.
- The admin can Revoke link at any time to make the previous invite link invalid and create a new link.
Note: Any WhatsApp user you share an invite link with can join the group, so only use this feature with trusted individuals. It’s possible for someone to forward the link to other people. If so, those other people can also join the group and the group admin won’t be asked to approve those other people before they join.
Why should you use WhatsApp for business?
The best reason to use WhatsApp for business is that many of your customers are probably already using it. More than 60 billion messages are sent through WhatsApp every single day.
Surprisingly, users of WhatsApp and similar services are willing to engage with businesses. According to Nielsen’s Facebook Messaging Survey, 67 percent of mobile messaging app users said they expect to use chat more for communicating with businesses over the next two years. What’s more, 53 percent of respondents say they’re more likely to shop with a business they can message directly.
If your customers and prospects are young, they’re more likely to be comfortable using messaging apps for their day-to-day communication. A study by Pew Research Center shows that 42 percent of smartphone owners between 18 and 29 years old use messaging apps like WhatsApp, compared with only 19 percent of smartphone owners who are 50 or older.
Plus, messaging apps like WhatsApp have incredible engagement rates: 98 percent of mobile messages are opened and read, with 90 percent of them getting opened within three seconds of being received.
WhatsApp may already be a key way for your audience to share content via dark social—a term to describe when people share content through private channels such as email or chat apps like WhatsApp, as opposed to more public networks like Facebook.
In fact, a huge majority of sharing online—84 percent—now takes place on private channels like messaging apps, so even if you’re not using WhatsApp to market your business, your prospects are likely using it to extend your content’s reach already.