WhatsApp's killer upgrade will make videos less annoying

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WhatsApp has been rolling out a lot of great features recently, but it looks like it’s not going to be slowing down anytime soon. The latest big feature coming to the messaging platform is going to make it less annoying to receive videos.

According to WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is set to let people mute videos when they share them with friends, meaning the recipient can watch whatever clip you’ve sent them without disturbing anyone in the immediate area.

Muting a video is easy. All you need to do is start sharing a video with a contact as normal, and once you’re on the edit page hit the speaker button. It’s towards the top of the page, underneath all the usual editing options. Then you send the video.

whatsapp video muting

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That will strip the video of its audio when it’s sent, so the person receiving it will be able to watch what’s going on without forcing everyone around them to listen in as well. This is assuming they don’t have any headphones with them.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to toggle the sound once a muted video has been sent. Though that isn’t surprising, since WhatsApp videos don’t let you mute a noisy video someone else has sent you.

The feature has already been enabled and is rolling out to WhatsApp Beta users right now. So if you are a member of the beta-testing program you may well find this feature is already waiting for you as it was for me.

It may be a while before this feature rolls out to the stable version of WhatsApp that anyone can download. So if you want to check it our for yourself you can see if the WhatsApp beta has any openings. The iOS beta is full, but you can check its TestFlight page periodically to see if any spots open. Likewise, the Android beta can be joined over on Google Play, assuming there is space for you.

The only question is whether features like this are enough to stop people leaving WhatsApp for rival services. The app has seen a mass exodus of users since its privacy policy debacle, when developer changes suggested that it would force user to share their data with parent-company Facebook. In the aftermath, Signal and Telegram both saw a huge influx of users, to the point where WhatsApp had to go on damage control and emphasize that it really is committed to privacy

Speaking of which, WhatsApp now lets you enable disappearing messages by default across all chats. 

If you have no interest in these new features, and are thinking about leaving, make sure to check out our list of the best WhatsApp alternatives and pick something that’s right for you.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.