WhatsApp Beta is rolling out with the following new features: Silence unknown callers, Group mention, Community entry point, Message editing, Group calling, and several new features to Channels.
WhatsApp is working on several new features with Version 18.104.22.168, which users can join through the Google Play Store Beta Program and TestFlight Beta Program. These features are currently in development and only available to a few users in a limited preview.
Let’s start with the new features, including the ability to mention a group within the community announcement group, a community entry point, silence unknown callers, and message editing. This even includes a new feature called Channels, which aims to allow users to broadcast messages to a large audience.
Silence Unknown Callers
This comes after many users have reported unknown calls in recent weeks. This helps reduce spam calls. After enabling this, users will not receive notifications from unknown callers, but they can check them out from WhatsApp Calls and Notifications.
- Open WhatsApp Settings, and then head over to privacy.
- From there, tap on Calls and then toggle to enable the Silence Unknown Callers.
There is a new feature for groups. Users can now mention groups in community announcements groups, which is a great way to get the attention of everyone in the community. To use this feature, open a WhatsApp group and start typing the group name followed by an @ sign.
Community Entry Point
WhatsApp is beta testing a Wear OS app, channel listing and message editing capabilities 📲— AndroidGreek (@AndroidGreek) May 9, 2023
Partnering with Truecaller to block spam calls, with the feature being rolled out to more users soon, 🤙https://t.co/RoZP6dJvt1#WhatsApp #whatsappcallscam #Truecaller #WearOS #Android
This edit message feature allows you to edit sent messages within 15 minutes of sending them. It will give users more control and time to edit a message. To use this, tap and hold the message and then select edit. Messages can only be edited on the device they were sent from, not from other devices.
It allows an unlimited number of members and is public, meaning anyone can join. This includes the admin’s ability to add and remove members and allows admins to delete messages. Refrain from getting confused with Channel and Group. Both are completely different. This allows users to broadcast messages to a large audience. Also, Channels will provide users with added privacy, as phone numbers are never visible to followers and the channel creators.
Channels will appear under the Update tab, a new place for status updates and channels where you can stay updated on topics that matter to you. This is a great way for businesses, organizations, and individuals to connect with a large audience and share news, updates, and information with a large group of people. As mentioned, this is a great way to build a community around a shared interest.
- Full-width message interface: The channel will have a full-width messaging interface in the conversation, similar to the one currently available for community announcement groups. This makes it easier for users to read and respond to messages.
- Verification Status: To confirm that the channel is legitimate, channels can be verified and marked with a green checkmark icon, similar to Business WhatsApp.
- Number of Followers: The total number of followers will be displayed under the channel name and may be an approximation. This will help users determine how popular the channel is.
- Mute notification: A mute shortcut will be accessible within the channel header to enhance users’ control over notifications. This will help avoid being overwhelmed by messages.
- Handles: Channels also support handles displayed in the channel info. This is quite similar to the username, which makes it easier for users to find and follow channels.
- Read Follower Count: The channel will display the real number of followers. The accurate number of followers can be found in the channel info screen.
- Shortcuts: The new shortcut will be introduced to enhance the user experience while exploring the channel info screen, including unfollowing, forwarding, and sharing a channel.
- Channel descriptions: Like groups, channels will have descriptions that will allow creators to provide additional information about the channel in the info screen and allow channel creators to provide additional information and context to followers.
- Mute Notification toggle: A toggle will provide an easy way to mute the channel.
- Visibility Status: Channels can be set to private or public so anyone can discover and view their content. Private channels can only be found by people who are invited.
- Privacy: Channels will offer a secure and private space where users can share information without fear of it being shared with others.
- Reporting: Users can report channels that violate the terms of service to the moderation team.
This new feature allows users to place group calls on macOS. To use this feature, you should have the native desktop application running the latest application on macOS. To make a call, open the WhatsApp group on Mac, then click on the video call icon in the screen’s upper-right corner. After this, WhatsApp will then start the group call. Previously, starting a group call was impossible as the button was either disabled or not functioning.
Users can also create a new group call by selecting the people they want to add. Then select up to 7 people in this section, but up to 32 people can join a group audio call later. The limit may vary for group video calls. Some users may see a different icon combining group and video calling into a single button.
There are many other improvements planned for future updates. Also, note that WhatsApp continues to work on this feature to ensure the best experience when it is released. Besides this, WhatsApp is also looking to change the user interface and a new green tint colour.
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