An upcoming WhatsApp update will stop random users from adding you to groups without your permission.
The Facebook-owned messaging company told VentureBeat that it’s rolling out an update that gives users more control regarding who can automatically add you to a group versus who can’t.
WhatsApp will let users choose between ‘nobody,’ ‘my contacts,’ and ‘everyone.’ Currently, the app allows everyone to add you to groups. The ‘my contacts’ settings allow only the specific users within the user’s address book to add you to groups.
Is there a way to stop random people from adding me to WhatsApp groups? The app is unusable to me due to this…
— Carl Pei (@getpeid) March 9, 2017
That said, users with restricted access can still get invites. However, the other party will have to send them a private message with an invite link. The user then has 72 hours to decide whether or not they want to join the group.
This rollout is happening worldwide within the coming weeks. You’ll need to make sure you update your app to the latest version to get the new feature.
WhatsApp has pushed this update due to complaints from users who reported annoying spam when being added to unwanted groups.