WhatsApp has introduced a new feature to automatically silence calls from unknown numbers. This comes after multiple customers in India, the chat app’s biggest market with more than 500 million users, have complained about an increase in spam calls in the last few months.
On Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg announced the call silencing feature along with a new privacy checkup option.
“You can now automatically silence incoming calls from unknown contacts on WhatsApp for even more privacy and control,” he said.
Users will be able to turn on this option by going to Settings > Privacy > Calls and selecting the “Silence unknown caller” option. WhatsApp said that while calls from unknown numbers will be automatically silenced they will show up in notifications and the app’s call list. This is in case you want to check later if it was from someone you know but don’t have their number saved in contacts.
When you will get a call from unknown number, the phone will just show you the number along with the message “silenced unknown number.”
Separately, WhatsApp has added a new privacy checkup feature that will appear in the Privacy section. The checkup will take you through multiple steps to make you aware of different privacy controls like “Choose who can contact you,” “Control your personal info,” “Add more privacy to your chats,” and “Add more protection to your account.” Users can change settings like two-factor authentication, decide who can add them to groups, set a default timer for disappearing messages, and control who can see their profile picture through this process.
Last month, WhatsApp rolled out back-end updates to reduce spam calls to customers in India. The company said it ramped up its machine learning-based detection capacity and expected these calls to reduce by 50%.