WhatsApp has gained a myriad of new features to help users better interact with each other during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. This includes up to 8 users in group video calls, animated stickers, QR code contacts sharing, and more. The most helpful feature, however, still seems to be on the way.
Discovered by reliable tipster WABetaInfo, the messaging giant has started work on a new ‘Always Mute’ feature for chats. This will enable users to permanently mute those irritating friends or group chat that you want to distance yourself from.
The mute feature currently lets you choose between three options – 8 hours, 1 week, and 1 year. An APK teardown of the latest WhatsApp beta, however, reveals that the final option could soon be replaced with ‘Always’ to mute chats forever. You can see this new ‘Always’ option in the screenshot below:
This seems like the perfect move for users, like me, who mute most of the group chats – especially family or meme ones – due to the constant flood of messages. The 1-year mute option is good and it works but one fine day, you are bombarded with messages from that muted group.
I would like to see WhatsApp pair this ‘Always Mute’ feature with the ‘Archive’ option, so the muted chats don’t resurface when you receive new messages. WABetaInfo also found that the work on ‘expiring messages’ (ephemeral messages, which delete after a certain time) and ‘multi-device support’ is currently underway.
The evidence for ‘expiring messages’ was first spotted earlier last year. The feature was called ‘disappearing messages’ back then and users could choose the duration for when the messages expire – delete for both users. The latest screenshot seems to suggest that the duration will be capped at 7 days and you will simply have to turn on the feature to make it work.
As for multi-device support, WhatsApp is working on a new ‘Linked Devices’ UI where you will be able to keep a track of all the devices – be it your browser, desktop, mobile or even the iPad – you use to log into the messaging service. The newer UI will enable you to link a new device or log out of any device with a couple of taps.
All of the aforementioned features are currently in development and not available in either the stable or beta builds of WhatsApp. We will update you once the messaging giant rolls out any of these features to all users.