One of the best means of communication, WhatsApp is a boon in the present times. However, unwanted messages, pings and shared content from individuals or groups often annoy users.
WhatsApp has now introduced an ‘Always’ mute option that allows one to mute the notifications of a chat or a group indefinitely.
Earlier, the Facebook-owned messaging app provided three mute options – eight hours, one week and one year. But now instead of a year, one can mute a chat permanently. This feature is available on both Android and iOS versions of the app as well as on the web version.
Sajid Hooti, a jewellery businessman at Muttrah Souq, welcomed the new option.
He said, “We sell old and modern jewellery designs. For that we do have a couple of WhatsApp groups connecting salesmen and customers. We created the groups for better and smooth flow of our business.”
But he said the problem is instead of work-related matters, group members keep sending news items that are often old, wrong or irrelevant.
“There are offensive jokes and annoying messages as well. This ‘mute’ option is good. Now we can just mute some chats and don’t have to check the mobile whenever a message arrives.”
In Oman too, messages related to festivals, shop promotions, morning wishes and old jokes are circulated frequently and are a cause of disturbance to many.
Ahmed Haider, a sales executive, said his college friends have two WhatsApp groups and they started these on the condition that messages are only related to their college, old friends or something important.
“But everyday there are about 100 unnecessary messages. The ‘mute’ option helps me not to get distracted while I’m working or driving,” he said.
IT expert Tariq al Barwani, while welcoming the new option, said, “Often out of courtesy, we cannot say ‘no’ to people who send unnecessary messages. It is best to ‘mute’ such people. Security wise, this is also a good idea as often in groups people send spams which can collect personal information and might cause issues.”