Yes, its real. No, its not some PR stunt from the company or a minor feature tweak or a change in privacy policy. Its real. Whatsapp has now finally, finally rolled out the ability for its over billion users, to control who can add them to groups.

Now before we go on further, a small note here. If you’d remember, Whatsapp did roll out something like this a few months back. It allowed a select group of users (which translates to users only in India) to choose who can add them to groups. However, apart from the fact that the feature never really moved ahead from that geography, it also was pretty primitive. It did give you options to choose, but the options were ‘Nobody’, ‘Everybody’ and ‘Your contacts’. That update did not allow to block ‘specific’ users from adding you to the group.

This new update however — thank the holy heavens for that — does allow you to specifically allow/disallow (based on how you use it) people within contacts who can add you to groups. This update will roll out globally soon, so that individuals can either block some or all people to keep them from adding them to Groups.

To enable it, go to Settings in your app, then tap Account > Privacy > Groups and select one of three options: “Everyone,” “My Contacts,” or “My Contacts Except.” “My Contacts” means only users you have in your address book can add you to groups and “My Contacts Except” provides additional control for who among your contacts can add you to a group.

In those cases, an admin who can’t add you to a group will be prompted to send a private invite through an individual chat, giving you the choice of joining the group. You’ll have three days to accept the invite before it expires.

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