Online instant messaging platform, WhatsApp has reportedly started testing an updated feature for Android users. The mute feature, which initially enables users to disallow message notifications from groups and individual contacts for a specified period of time, now allows it without any time limit.
This means users do not have to occasionally revisit their mute decision to update it. Until now, users could only mute notifications for 8 hours, 1 week, or a year; the recently introduced option is ‘Always’ and it will replace the ‘1 year’ option.
The ‘mute notification’ option can be activated by tapping the three dots at the top right corner in a chat window which then allows you to select a duration. WhatsApp does not notify affected contact or group of this decision.
Muting a group or private chat does not stop their messages from coming in, it only stops notifying you that messages from certain people have been received.
Apart from messages, WhatsApp also allows users to mute status updates. Muted statuses are usually hidden below the list of permitted ones but can be viewed at the user’s will.
The mute option is one of WhatsApp way of helping users create boundaries on whom they decide to interact with on the platform and also avoid spams and annoying notifications. However, it is only a mild restriction because messages from muted contacts will still be found on the list of unread messages.
Although an extreme action is the ‘block’ feature which is available on most social media platforms. This prevents any form of interaction with contacts but it cannot be used on WhatsApp groups.
Still, the most effective way of avoiding unwanted messages from groups is to exit the groups. Asides this, users can change their privacy settings to allow only known or specific contacts to add them to groups. Both the mute and block actions can be reversed.
For now, the ‘Always’ mute option is added to the list of anticipated features on the popular messaging app. Meanwhile, the Telegram feature which allows messages to self-destruct after a period of time may also be included on WhatsApp in the future.
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