WhatsApp Bringing Anti-Spam Measures to the Instant Messenger

April 6, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

Many of you will be familiar with WhatsApp and the services they offer. Recently, they finalized plans to add voice calling to the service, allowing users to call each other for free using their internet connection. The feature was long rumored to be in beta, and that users needed to be invited to try out the feature before it went live in earnest. At the time, there was talk that these invites could be spam messages, and that they weren’t to be trusted. Now, it seems that WhatsApp is about to get tough on spam and nuisance messages, as screenshots showing what could be a way to report spam and even block users surface.

DroidApp, a Dutch website that has broken news on new app features in the past has apparently gotten their hands on screenshots that clearly show WhatsApp’s spam features in action. The version of the app described as having these new features is version 2.12.22, in contrast the version we have installed is 2.12.5, and there doesn’t appear to be an update waiting for us, either. In the screenshots from DroidApp (featured below) there are two buttons that appear in the chat window, one asking if the message is spam and whether or not to block the contact and another to add to contacts. A confirmation then pops up on screen asking users if they want to block the contact or not.

This sort of thing is something that you’d think would have been in WhatsApp for a long time now, but it looks like the network is only getting around to adding it now. Still, something like this is of course better than nothing. Online networks like Facebook and Twitter have long been criticized for the poor way in which they handle online abuse and what people call “trolling”. Adding the ability to block someone would certainly go a long way to making users on any service feel more comfortable, so hopefully it doesn’t take too long for this feature to hit everyone.