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Whatsapp for Android gets a privacy update after Facebook buyout

Also allows users to pay for a friend's subscription
Tue Mar 11 2014, 10:46
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INSTANT MESSAGING SERVICE Whatsapp has released an update to its Android app, adding privacy features and the ability to pay for a friend's subscription.

Whatsapp put out the update on Monday, and it brings some privacy features to the instant messaging app. These include controls for users to hide when they were last seen, their profile photo and their status updates from prying eyes.

While these are not groundbreaking changes, releasing a privacy update likely will appease its user following Facebook's $19bn acquisition of the company that has sparked privacy fears among Whatsapp users. These concerns are ongoing, as privacy groups called for the FTC to investigate the buyout last week, saying that it represents a threat to privacy.

Beyond privacy controls, perhaps the most interesting feature included in the update is the ability to pay for a friend's subscription, which means you can cough up $0.99 a year to pay for a someone else to access the service even if they are using Whatsapp on iOS, Windows Phone or Blackberry - likely a ploy by Whatsapp to get even more people using the service.

Other changes in the update include; a camera shortcut for "quick photo sending", a widget to see unread messages in the homescreen, the ability to send large video thumbnails in chat, and a number of bug fixes, including a fix for voice note recording on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Sony smartphones.

Whatsapp for Android is available to download for free from Google Play. µ


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