WhatsApp is getting the ability to mute individual users on group calls, so that person who might be accidentally far too noisy can be silenced without a fuss.
We were alerted to such an update, among others, by Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp at Meta, who tweeted (opens in new tab) that: “You can now mute or message specific people on a call (great if someone forgets to mute themselves!), and we've added a helpful indicator so you can more easily see when more people join large calls.”
The ability to mute someone in a group chat seems ripe for abuse, but at the same time it can help make a group call less chaotic. Most of us have at some point been on a video call disrupted by background noise from one attendee who doesn't realize they aren't muted until they're finally (and embarrassingly) identified.
Some new features for group calls on @WhatsApp: You can now mute or message specific people on a call (great if someone forgets to mute themselves!), and we've added a helpful indicator so you can more easily see when more people join large calls. pic.twitter.com/fxAUCAzrsyJune 16, 2022
Equally, you may be in a room with another person who's on the same group video call, so being able to mute them on your end can help prevent any unwanted echoing.
Being able to easily and clearly message individual callers in a WhatsApp group call also seems handy, especially if you want to quietly catch up a latecomer on what they've missed, or ensure that someone doesn't say something that could go down badly with other participants.
Meanwhile, a new indicator to make it clear when someone has joined a call will help make the whole process of messaging them, or indeed muting them if needed, an easier task on large groups calls.
This all builds upon WhatsApp’s ongoing work to make life easier for its users, with other recent additions including the ability to easily switch chats from Android to iPhone (finally) and to 'silently' leave group chats.