WhatsApp, the popular messaging platform owned by Meta, has unveiled a new feature aimed at protecting users from bothersome calls. This feature allows users to easily activate a setting that will silence calls from spam and nuisance callers. Such calls typically originate from numbers that are not saved in a user's contact list. With this new addition, WhatsApp aims to prevent unknown numbers from disturbing its users. However, those who do not enable this setting will still hear their phone ring when receiving calls from any WhatsApp user, regardless of whether they are in their contact list or not.
Rollout Confirmed by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the official announcement on Tuesday, confirming that WhatsApp users now have the ability to silence incoming calls from unknown contacts. Previously spotted in development, this feature has now started rolling out to all users. Gadgets 360 has verified that the setting is available on the latest stable versions of WhatsApp for both Android and iOS platforms.
Silence Unknown Callers, Yet Stay Informed
Enabling this feature ensures that users will not be disrupted by calls from unknown contacts. Nevertheless, WhatsApp will still display incoming calls from unknown numbers in the notification area and within the app. Consequently, users will not miss calls from unfamiliar individuals; rather, the feature will simply minimize disturbance caused by strangers by preventing the phone from ringing.
Enabling the Feature: Steps for Android and iPhone
For Android users, activating the feature involves tapping on the three-dot menu, then navigating to Settings > Privacy > Calls, and finally toggling on the “Silence unknown callers” option within the WhatsApp app. Similarly, iPhone owners can access the settings menu by tapping on the gear icon in WhatsApp, followed by selecting Privacy > Calls, and then toggling on the “Silence Unknown Callers” option.
Addressing Spam Calls and Unwanted Disturbances
The introduction of this feature follows reports of several users in India and other regions receiving spam calls from unfamiliar numbers. Users took to Twitter to express their frustration, sharing instances of receiving calls from unknown numbers originating from countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Kenya, and Ethiopia. In response, Minister of State for IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, stated that the IT Ministry would issue a notice to WhatsApp.
WhatsApp acknowledged the issue and shared that it was strengthening its spam detection systems, which utilize artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies, to reduce scam and spam calls by at least 50 percent. The implementation of this new feature is expected to alleviate the inconvenience faced by users due to unwanted calls on the messaging platform.