WhatsApp: Meta-owned messaging platform to roll out five new features for users - what you need to know

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The new features were announced by WeBetaInfo

WhatsApp is releasing five new features on the app to make user experience smoother and easier, according to testing platform, WeBetaInfo. The new features include silencing unknown callers, mentioning groups within community announcement groups, messaging editing, community entry points and group calling for Mac. 

Only beta users have the ability to test out the new features currently, however they should be made available for the wider public in the coming weeks. 

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Group Calling on macOS

WeBetaInfo has discovered on the TestFlight app that some WhatsApp beta users on macOS now have the ability to group call. Users can create a new group call with people who are not in the same group, by selecting up to seven people for that section and up to 32 for group audio calls later on. The call icon may differ in the chat header which combines group calling and general video calling into one. It is also important to note the limit may be different for group video calls. 

Silence unknown callers 

Some beta users now have a privacy feature allowing them to have more control over the calls they receive by silencing unknown callers - which will be great for spam calls. This feature can be enabled via WhatsApp settings, by going into privacy, then calls. 

Group mentions 

Community admins now will be able to mention groups within the community announcement groups - providing more clarity into the specific groups and allowing the whole community to identify which group is relevant to the conversation. Right now this is available on WhatsApp beta for Android but it will be available for more members as the feature is rolling out over the next few days. 

The new features were announced by WeBetaInfoThe new features were announced by WeBetaInfo
The new features were announced by WeBetaInfo | Mark Hall/NationalWorld

Community entrance point 

In the header of the community announcement groups, a new button has appeared for some beta users that will allow anyone to open one of the groups linked to the community directly. However, this feature also allows for the creator of the community to create a group from the menu which appears in that feature. 

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Editing messages 

Some beta users can now edit their WhatsApp messages within 15 minutes of sending them. The limited timeframe is placed to correct typing errors rather than to modify messages in the long term. There is an unlimited amount of times a message can be edited within that 15-minute timeframe, however the message can only be edited from the device it was sent from. 

A bug in the operating system 

WhatsApp beta’s new features come after the Meta-owned app came under fire for allegedly attempting to access the microphones within people’s phones as they sleep. The privacy menus in some Android devices have highlighted how their microphone access page has shown their microphone being accessed during times when users were not on their phone. 

WhatsApp has responded by denying these claims and said: “Over the last 24 hours, we’ve been in touch with a Twitter engineer who posted an issue with his Pixel phone and WhatsApp. We believe this is a bug on Android that mis-attributes information in their privacy dashboard and have asked Google to investigate and remediate.”

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