06 November 2020
UPDATE (October 26th, 2020):
After about two months of testing, WhatsApp has now released the ability to mute chat notifications forever. The mute chat setting now has three options: 8 hours, 1 week, and Always. The last one is the option if you want to put a chat to silence and forget about repeating the process after regular intervals. If you want to start receiving notifications again, simply unmute the chat that you put on mute.
You can now mute a chat forever 🤫 pic.twitter.com/DlH7jAt6P8— WhatsApp Inc. (@WhatsApp) October 23, 2020
Original (July 29th, 2020)
WhatsApp appears to be tweaking the Mute functionality for notifications to offer you more flexibility. The Mute feature in WhatsApp lets you mute the notifications from an individual or a group for a certain period of time and now WhatsApp is just adding one more option so that you can get rid of those notifications forever.
Currently, the feature lets you mute the notifications from any contact or group for 8 hours, 1 week, and 1 year. Now the famous serial leaker WABetaInfo who uncovers WhatsApp’s upcoming features has now found a piece of evidence suggesting the app will replace the 1-year option with “Always” of Mute feature. The tipster has managed to take a screenshot as well while digging into the new 18.104.22.168 update.
This means you will be able to mute the notifications from those annoying groups forever.
In my opinion, the 1-year option is already a pretty good deal where you can stay away from a contact or group for a long year, yes 365 days. Replacing it with “Always” just removes that “extra” effort that you would do in choosing that option yet again after a year.
I also believe there should be something between the 1 week and that yet-to-come “Always” option as well. Like what if you do not wish to receive notifications from contact for some months only, let’s say 5 or 6 months? There must be an option between these two options to fill in this huge gap.
Note that the new "Always" option has been found in the beta version and it is not necessary that every spotted feature lands in the public version. Sometimes it takes much time and sometimes it just never becomes official.