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How To Control Who Sees Your Status on WhatsApp

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Good thing! we do not have to be those people anymore; opening your WhatsApp messenger just to type your messages, scrolling through messages, reading them and typing more messages as replies. Bored if you do not have what to talk about or there is no message waiting for you and having no other option but to open the app and drop a few messages, maybe and close it back. Not anymore, with WhatsApp status, you get to scroll, or better still tap your way, through streams and streams of contents from people’s status and even start a discussion from there. You can even post content to specific people using WhatsApp status privacy settings. There is always something waiting for you aside from messages.

We are in an era where information is easily accessible to everyone via the internet. While this is a dream come true as regards connectivity and communication, it presents a privacy issue for some WhatsApp users as some people tend to be very private about who gets to see their personal pictures and not show them to everybody on their contact list. The bottom line, some information is personal and not meant for everyone. WhatsApp understands this fully and comes with a default end-to-end encryption for both messages and status updates. The contents of your status updates are only available to and can only be seen by those who have your phone number saved on their device and you have theirs saved on your device phone book too.

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Whatsapp End To End Encryption
Whatsapp End To End Encryption

We already know how privacy itself might want to be, so below is an easy step-by-step approach on how to control who sees your status on WhatsApp.

Change WhatsApp status privacy settings

It is important to note that the default app settings share your status updates on WhatsApp with all your contacts who have your number saved on their contact list. There is no doubt a private list, but there are built-in options that allow you to still make it smaller and more private and tweak it to your desire depending on your target audience on your list of WhatsApp contacts. To do this:

  1. Open the WhatsApp application on your Android device. You should see three tabs, CHATS, STATUS, and CALLS. By default, the CHATS tab is always selected and opened whenever WhatsApp is launched. It’s a messaging app and messaging is their priority after all. 
  2. Next, click on the STATUS tab to open it. Only from the Status tab can you access the status settings.Img 20210913 060001
  3. Check the top right corner and click the familiar three dots or vertical ellipsis you have been seeing everywhere on your phone. These three dots open the action menu, not just on WhatsApp but everywhere on your phone, so you will not be seeing less of it I promise.Screenshot 2021 09 13 06 01 55 62
  4. On the opened action menu click on status privacy from the two options available. And that is it, we are here!Screenshot 2021 09 13 06 04 16 20

There are three different options on the status privacy menu, just below “who can see my status updates”:

  • My contacts
  • My contacts except…
  • Only share with…
Screenshot 2021 09 13 06 06 15 00
WhatsApp status privacy menu

This means you can have three different privacy settings to switch between easily. The first option, “My contacts”, is the default privacy option that cannot be edited and allows everyone on your WhatsApp contact list to see your status. The next two options “My contacts except…” and “Only share with…” can be tweaked and provide two different approaches to narrowing down your privacy either by removing some contacts or targeting just a few contacts respectively.

Hide WhatsApp status from some contacts

You want to upload a status update on WhatsApp and you do not want a few people to see it, this is how you go about it.

  1. Navigate to the status privacy menu on your WhatsApp. If you do not know how to do that, follow the four steps above on how to change your WhatsApp privacy settings.
  2. Now, select “My contacts except…” by clicking on it from the three options on the menu.Screenshot 2021 09 13 07 56 01 84
  3. Select the Contacts you do not want to see your status. Img 20210913 075807
  4. Click the green tick circle at the bottom right of the menu to save the settings.

All your contacts except the ones you selected will be able to see your status when next you upload one. It is preferable to use this option when the number of contacts you do not want to see your status updates are few compared to the total number of WhatsApp contacts. Otherwise, just go for the next option as that would be easier.

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Show WhatsApp status only to selected contacts

Posting a status on WhatsApp and you only want a few selected persons to see it. Or maybe you just want one person to see it. This is what to do.

  1. Navigate to the status privacy menu on your WhatsApp. If you do not know how to do this, follow the four steps above on how to change your WhatsApp privacy settings.
  2. Now, select “Only share with…” by clicking on it from the three options on the menu.Screenshot 2021 09 13 07 59 19 57
  3. Select the few Contacts that you want to see your status.Img 20210913 080019
  4. Click the green tick circle at the bottom right of the menu to save the settings.

Only the contacts that you have selected will be able to see your status when next you upload one. Use this option when the number of contacts you want to see your status updates is few compared to the total number of WhatsApp contacts. Otherwise, just go for the previous option as that would be easier.

About changing status privacy settings

When you make changes to your WhatsApp status privacy settings, it only affects the status you upload after that, any status uploaded before the settings were made will not be affected and will still be seen by all, except deleted.

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Seeing the contacts that have viewed your status is only possible if your read receipts are enabled. Only then can you see the list of those that have viewed your status except for the contacts that disabled their read receipts. So you can decide to view others’ WhatsApp status without been seen, though at a little cost.

The big deal about WhatsApp status

WhatsApp was just a messaging app for sending and receiving messages and sharing media content with contacts in their inbox with a text-based status feature too. Sending updates to multiple contacts at the same time would require sending a broadcast message which only has a maximum of 256 per broadcast, or using the old text-based status feature to send updates such as Available, Busy, Battery about to die which are available by default and other updates you can compose. This old status feature is strictly limited to 140 characters only and only one update at a time, so not much room for expressions and longer updates.

The game-changer came during WhatsApp’s 8th anniversary on February 24, 2017, when it launched a new status tab feature like that of Snapchat also existing on Facebook by then as Facebook stories allowing users to share uploads which disappear 24 hours after it was uploaded. On WhatsApp status, you can share Text updates and also photos, videos, and GIFs that can be decorated with overlaid write-ups, drawings, emojis, and stickers and also with a provision to add a separate descriptive caption below the media being shared. Text updates are limited to 700 characters, while videos have a limit of 30 seconds length per video update. With WhatsApp status, you get to see and make people see content like they were going through news feeds on Facebook or Instagram.

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