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Battle.net app gets new social features, including ‘appear offline’

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Blizzard adds a long-requested change

Blizzard Entertainment is adding new social features to its desktop Battle.net app, including the long-requested ability to appear offline when logging into the service.

Those new features, including updates to groups, profiles and avatars, are now in the beta version of Blizzard Battle.net’s desktop app. Battle.net users can opt into the beta now; no invitation is required to take part.

New to the desktop app is a Social tab that Blizzard says will be a “one-stop-shop for managing all your various social interactions,” including groups, one-on-one chats and discussion channels.

“Blizzard Groups are a new way for you to connect with your friends and plan your next mission,” Blizzard said in a news post. “Players can create and join Groups based on their common interests. There, they can keep in touch, share strategies, and catch up on conversations they might have missed while offline.

“Each Group can have multiple text and voice chat channels, and Group administrators have a variety of tools to help manage membership, send out invitation links, and more.”

Blizzard Entertainment

The desktop Battle.net app is also offering more robust player profiles, with avatars, notes for friends, links to social media accounts and more.

But it’s another new feature, appear offline, that will probably get longtime Blizzard fans the most excited. It’s a feature that Battle.net users have been requesting for years.

“Appearing offline will show you as offline to everyone in your Blizzard friends list,” Blizzard said. “Once you have joined a game, the experience of appearing offline might be slightly different depending on which game you are playing. In the case of World of Warcraft, your guildmates will see your character come online and enter WoW’s in-game chat channels, and anyone who has you as a character-level friend will see you online on their friends list. Everyone outside of the same game as you will not see you online or playing any games.

“Do you see a friend who’s offline but you really want to send them a message while it’s on your mind? You can now send offline friends messages and they will receive them the next time they come online! While appearing offline you can still send and receive messages in the app, but it is up to you when you want to respond.”

Those new features are coming just in time for the Windows PC release of Destiny 2, which will be the first non-Blizzard game to hit Battle.net. Destiny 2’s PC version arrives Oct. 24.