March 18, 2014
WhatsApp Messenger has just been updated with several improvements, some of which have been added apparently in response to privacy concerns rooted in its recent $19 billion acquisition by Facebook. The latest update to the popular messaging app includes new chat wallpapers and some bug fixes. Most importantly, it introduces new privacy settings, which are accessible in the app via Settings > Account > Privacy. In these new settings, you get to specify who can view your last seen status, your profile photo, and your status update. You can also see a list of contacts you have blocked from sending you messages. In a new blog post, WhatsApp cofounder and CEO Jan Koum notes:
Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA, and we built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible: You don’t have to give us your name and we don’t ask for your email address. We don’t know your birthday. We don’t know your home address. We don’t know where you work. We don’t know your likes, what you search for on the internet or collect your GPS location. None of that data has ever been collected and stored by WhatsApp, and we really have no plans to change that.The new version of WhatsApp Messenger is available now in the App Store for free. The app is optimized for iPhone and iPod touch running iOS 4.3 or later. WhatsApp was redesigned for iOS 7 last December. At the same time, it was updated with broadcast lists and other enhancements. The app is expected to be finally updated with support for voice calling, reportedly featuring a calling interface similar to that of the recently released iOS 7.1.