WhatsApp spam calls could soon be much easier to ignore

WhatsApp may soon let you mute calls from people you don’t know automatically  (Nicholas T Ansell / PA)
WhatsApp may soon let you mute calls from people you don’t know automatically (Nicholas T Ansell / PA)

Nuisance calls via WhatsApp could soon become a lot less vexing. Meta, the owners of WhatsApp, is reportedly working on a feature that will silence any calls from unknown numbers. If the caller is not in your phonebook, WhatsApp won’t play a jingle.

The upcoming feature was spotted by WABetaInfo in the latest Android beta build. It’s a simple toggle that can be enabled or disabled, so a full ringtone jingle is still available to those who want to be informed of every call as they are now.

But crucially, the feature doesn’t simply block calls from unknown numbers. Even with unknown callers silenced, the screenshot reveals that such calls will still appear in your notifications and calls list, so you can always phone back if you’re curious.

It’s not clear if the feature will be enabled by default, or will require users to opt in manually. But it seems likely that it will be: most people use WhatsApp for socialising with people they already know, and the chances are that if somebody outside of their phonebook is trying to get in touch, it’ll be some kind of spam, scam, or other annoyance.

While Meta has yet to formally announce the feature, the company has been busy introducing a whole host of additions in the past six months. WhatsApp Communities allows users to bundle group chats under a single unified topic, 32-person video calls are now possible, and you can now avoid drama by leaving tedious groups without alerting everyone to your exit.

But more appears to be happening behind the scenes without any official fanfare. There’s evidence pointing to useful features, like editable texts for fixing typos and automatic note transcription to save you from listening to rambling voice messages.

These features will be very welcome, should they ever see the light of day. But, in the meantime, there’s plenty you can do to customise your in-app experience today: here are six WhatsApp settings that every user should know about.