WhatsApp beta — the company's testing version of the popular messaging app — has added a new feature with the latest update. Previously referred to as audio chats, this feature allows users to start a voice call in a group. Meanwhile, a recent beta update also added support for sending messages to group admins for review, a feature that could help improve administration of groups on the platform. These features are expected to roll out to users on the stable channel at a later date.
With the update to WhatsApp beta for Android 184.108.40.206, some beta testers will gain access to a feature called voice chats, as spotted by WhatsApp feature tracker WABetaInfo. This feature changes the way group audio calls by replacing the call icon with a waveform icon. Tapping the icon will start a voice chat that other group members can also join. However, unlike a group voice call, these voice chats won't ring your phone — all group members will see a push notification instead.
Voice chats on WhatsApp
Photo Credit: WABetaInfo
The feature tracker has shared a couple of screenshots of the feature, showing how it works in a group. Once a voice chat is initiated, group members can join and speak, as if it were a regular audio call. Idle calls will be automatically closed after an hour, according to WABetaInfo. It appears that WhatsApp's existing limits on calls will also apply to voice chats — only 32 members will be able to join at a time.
On the other hand, WhatsApp beta for Android 220.127.116.11 which was released over the weekend, reportedly adds a new feature aimed at improving moderation in groups. WhatsApp has included a new toggle in the group settings section called Send for admin review that will allow group members to send messages to a group's admin for review.
The new group moderation tool on WhatsApp
Photo Credit: WABetaInfo
While users can currently report messages sent by other users to WhatsApp, the messaging service recently allowed group admins to delete messages to improve moderation on the app. Once this feature is enabled, users will be able to report specific messages sent to the group to admins, so that they can be removed, according to WABetaInfo. The feature could help admins catch messages they might miss when they are away from their phone.
There's no word from WhatsApp on when these features will be rolled out to all users on the app. Gadgets 360 was unable to confirm the presence of both these features after updating to the latest version of the app. This suggests that they could be enabled by a server-side update, and users who install the latest beta version might have access to the feature in the coming days.
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