At last, WhatsApp lets you set who can add you to groups

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No one is going to deny that WhatsApp groups can be very useful but I’m not about to sit here and lie by denying that they may be the worst part of modern technology. That might be hyperbolic, I’m aware, but who among us does not HATE WhatsApp groups? It’s something that apparently even WhatsApp is aware of as the latest update is trying to fix one of the biggest problems with the app.

It’s the beginning of the year and you’re looking a little pudgy. Hey, no judgement! Happens to the best of us. Yet you’re not happy with that extra bit of weight. It’s annoying, to say the least, and you want to at least look good for your spouse, right? You venture out into the world, looking to join a running club. You’ve heard good things about your local offerings, decide to check them out. The man in charge, Ralph, seems pleasant enough. You give him your number, ready to receive weekly messages, at most, about the club’s schedule.

Yet that doesn’t happen. In fact, something far worse happens. You return home only to notice a flush of notifications for a bevvy of groups you don’t recognise:

Running Club. Running Club ADMIN. We’re Gonna Run The World. A Cheeky Run With The Boys. Run for Fun! Park Run Club.

Ralph is a part of plenty of groups, it seems, and by expressing your interest in joining for a weekly dose of exercise, you’ve unfortunately been lumped in with all of them. Why was Ralph allowed to do this? Surely he should have at least asked permission?

Yes, he should have. While it’s taken WhatsApp a long time to reach that conclusion, the latest update for the instant messaging app is planning of amending those faults in WhatsApp’s groups. Following the release of version 2.20.22, users will now be able to set their privacy settings so they will no longer be added into groups against their will and then be forced to awkwardly leave. Instead, the admin of the group will send a private invitation which can either be accepted or denied, meaning you’ll be able to significantly cut down on the amount of spam you receive on your phone.

It’s even very simple to do. Settings > Account > Privacy > Groups and the options to adjust the permissions on the app are right there. Don’t thank us for helping you out, thank WhatsApp for finally hearing our call. Just a few too many years after it got really annoying.

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I completed a Masters Degree just so someone might take my opinions seriously one day. Also writes about video games over at Critical Hit.

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