New features coming to WhatsApp – including ‘stealth mode’

WhatsApp is expected to roll out a host of new features in future updates, including those most requested by users.

According to insider website WABetaInfo, there are at least five big changes that have made their presence known to beta testers in the last week, including the ability to hide your online status from all contacts.

This ‘stealth mode‘ is reportedly one of the most requested features for WhatsApp. Currently, the app allows users to specify who can see when they were last active on the app. A future update will enable users to set the online notification to be the same as the last seen setting.

“There may be different reasons why people want to use WhatsApp in stealth mode: for example, some users want to use WhatsApp without being disturbed by other people, or they feel stalked by someone,” WABetaInfo said.

Other coming updates include:

Extending time-limit for deleting messages for all (Android)

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WhatsApp is currently rolling out a feature to beta testers on Android devices (v2.22.15.8) that will enable them to extend the time available for them to delete messages for all participants in a chat.

Currently, the time to delete messages for all is set to just over an hour. The new setting will extend this to 60 hours.

Edit text messages

The ability to edit messages is currently under development, after being announced and subsequently abandoned some five years ago.

There is currently no way to alter the content of messages sent on WhatsApp, but a future update will presumably allow users to make changes. The full scope and flexibility of these changes – if there are time limits, etc – are not yet known but the feature is marked as under development.

Previous features that have been announced for WhatsApp include:

  • Allowing users to exit groups quietly, without notifying other participants
  • WhatsApp Premium for businesses, including new tools for tracking ads.
  • Aligning WhatsApp Desktop with mobile features, including setting profiles, creating orders, etc
  • Better integration between platforms, like allowing users to move chats and history from Android to iOS

These changes come on top of the new privacy-related changes announced by Meta in recent weeks.

Meta’s head of WhatsApp, Will Cathcart, announced the new group calls features on Twitter, saying the platform will include the ability to mute and message specific people — even if you aren’t the one who placed the call. Cathcart said the platform also has a new indicator to show when more people join large calls.

Users can select the person they want to mute or message in a group call to see the options, and the changes have rolled out to Android and iOS users on the latest version of the app.

The new privacy and group call features are set to roll out incrementally to users over the coming months.

Read: This senior South African executive was fired for messages shared on WhatsApp – what you should know

Artmotion S.Africa

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