WhatsApp new features rolled out: Mute group call participant, hide status from contacts and more

WhatsApp regularly rolls out a slew of new features, and here’s what the app has introduced of late.

Highlights
  • WhatsApp’s Admin Approval will seek to make groups safer.
  • The group audio call update will allow users to text each other privately, while in call.
  • Last seen and profile photos can now be shared with select contacts only.

WhatsApp has a constant stream of new features that its developer team works on, offering added functionality to existing features – or adding new ones altogether – to both its consumer and business apps. Over the past week, WhatsApp has introduced a slew of new features for its stable version for all users, which has included tweaks and improvements to how users can join groups, how group audio calls work, and how users can control who can see their profile images, status updates and more.

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WhatsApp new features: Here’s what they offer

The latest features that have been added to WhatsApp include the ability for group admins to approve those joining their groups, and for group audio call participants to now mute each other or message privately while a call is ongoing. The new features also include privacy controls for users, who can now restrict selective contacts from seeing their status updates, last seen details, profile photos or the about me section. Let’s look at each feature in more detail.

Admin Approval

The first feature is called Admin Approval, and is meant to make group chat experiences safer. Previously, WhatsApp had added the ability for individuals to restrict who can add them to groups.

The new feature, which has been rolled out in beta and is slated to be introduced in its stable build soon, will see group admins receiving a notification to approve the addition of a member to a group. If the new addition does not look legitimate, they can stop the member from being added. Enabling the feature for a group will not automatically activate it for all admins of a group and each of the admins will need to activate it individually.

Group audio calls – Muting people, added participant

WhatsApp has expanded the ability to add up to 32 participants to a group conversation. The feature comes as WhatsApp continues to try offering use cases beyond personal conversations.

WhatsApp group audio calls

The new feature would allow users to mute a fellow participant in a group audio call while the call is ongoing, to prevent undue disturbances in between calls. Users will also be able to privately message each other in between an ongoing call, thus making it better suited for quick group calls in between work. Finally, users who are already on a group call on the platform will also be notified when a new user joins the call.

Who can see photo, status updates

WhatsApp has also added a more granular privacy control for who can see a user’s profile image, about me section, status updates or the last seen time stamp in the app. While previously, users could choose to select nobody, my contacts or everyone for these settings, the app will now allow users to selectively choose which contacts would not be able to access their details on the app.