WhatsApp is a fine universal smartphone messaging app but sometimes it can be a cacophony of jokes, memes, banter and outright noise – and that’s the fault of the group chat.
On the one hand we love being in group chats as a way to keep up with a certain ring of friends or family and share in jokes, pictures and more. But it can be annoying to be added to too many group chats, particularly if you’re added without asking.
WhatsApp has updated its group chat settings to try and put more control in your hands. Now, when you go to Settings > Account > Privacy > Groups the options you have on who can invite you to a group chat are: “Everyone,” “My Contacts,” or “My Contacts Except.” On the latter you can exclude certain contacts from adding you to groups if you have that one friend who is a bit too new-group-trigger-happy.
Previously the “My Contacts Except” option was simply “Nobody”, but this left little granular control to you. That’s now changed.
In a blog post WhatsApp said that if someone you have added to the exception rule tries to invite you to a group chat, they will get a prompt to send you a private invitation to join, which you can then accept or decline within three days. Without this option, you are simply added to a group chat with no choice as to decline or accept.
This is a minor change, and you may well be fine with just leaving a group chat yourself if you don’t like it, which has always been possible and still is now.