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Wednesday, July 10, 2024

WhatsApp introduces new context cards for group invites

By displaying the inviter’s details and the group’s information, users can better assess whether the group is safe and relevant to join.

WhatsApp is rolling out a new feature designed to add more transparency to group invites by providing detailed context about the group and its members before users decide to join. This new feature, called “context cards,” aims to help users make informed decisions about joining groups, particularly those created by unknown contacts. The context cards will include information such as who added the user to the group, the group’s creator, the group’s creation date, and a description of the group’s purpose, if available.

Reducing Spam and Scams

The introduction of context cards is part of WhatsApp’s latest group safety update, which also includes enhanced reporting options to protect users from spammy or scam-related groups. By providing detailed information upfront, WhatsApp aims to reduce the likelihood of users being added to groups with malicious intents or unknown agendas. The context cards serve as a preventive measure against widespread online group scams, allowing users to report, block, or leave suspicious groups immediately.

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Increasing Usage and Security

WhatsApp has observed a significant rise in group activity and overall usage as users shift from public posting to more private group engagements. The app’s full message encryption offers an added layer of security, making it an attractive option for users, particularly in Western countries. However, this increased interest in group chats has also made them a target for spam and scams. The new context cards are designed to mitigate these risks by providing users with crucial information about the groups they are invited to join.

User-Friendly Rollout

According to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart, the context cards are being rolled out globally and will be available to all users over the next few weeks. This feature will be accessible to both Android and iOS users, enhancing the safety and security of group interactions across all platforms. The rollout is part of WhatsApp’s ongoing efforts to improve user safety and build on existing features like silencing unknown callers, chat lock, in-app privacy check-up, and controlling who can add users to groups.

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The new context cards are especially useful for users who receive group invites from unfamiliar contacts. By displaying the inviter’s details and the group’s information, users can better assess whether the group is safe and relevant to join. This added transparency ensures that users are not caught off guard by unsolicited group invitations and can make more informed choices about their group chat participation.