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Will Cathcart, head of Meta’s messaging platform WhatsApp, announced several new privacy features late last week, including the ability to mute others during group calls.
He tweeted: “Some new features for group calls on @WhatsApp: You can now mute or message specific people on a call (great if someone forgets to mute themselves!), and we’ve added a helpful indicator so you can more easily see when more people join large calls.”
In April 2022, WhatsApp gave users the option to add up to 32 participants per group call. However, several users had complained that it is not possible to keep asking people to mute themselves. While some conferencing programs, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, allow hosts to mute all (or particular) participants, most don’t allow individual users to mute anybody they wish during a session.
According to WABetaInfo, an independent website focusing on WhatsApp news and updates, the option to mute somebody on a call is not just limited to the person who made the call, other participants will also be able to mute anyone during a call.
Android Central said, “Muting others on WhatsApp appears relatively easy; users have to select the respective individual during the call, and they then get options to either mute the participant or send an individual message.”
This function provides a new degree of control that’s probably best reserved for frantic meetings with up to eight individuals on video calls or 32 on audio conversations.
In addition to the new muting feature, WhatsApp will allow you to message particular people while on a group call. This is useful if you need to send a note to someone or crack a joke that might not go down well with the entire group.
In addition to these new features for group calls, Android Central reported on WhatsApp’s new privacy features on the messaging platform. Users can now select individuals from their contacts list and choose to either allow or block them from seeing their profile photo, their about section, and their last seen status. This appears to be a convenient feature for people to hide from businesses, banking accounts, or anyone they may want to avoid on WhatsApp.
This could help keep your profile hidden from professional contacts or anyone you don’t want to have access to it at all times. Due to potential privacy concerns, WhatsApp began hiding the ‘last seen’ status from outsiders by default last year.
WhatsApp said it is also introducing a new banner that will notify users when someone joins a call after it has already begun. WhatsApp finally allowed Android users to move their chat histories to iPhones earlier this week after the firm first allowed users to transfer their conversation data in the opposite manner (from iPhone to Android) last year.
The Meta-owned messaging service said the new features will have an incremental rollout and that users will have to run the latest version of the app to enable them.