WhatsApp is rolling out a series of helpful features to boost the Group Chat experience.
The new version of the app for iOS and Android enables groups to add a description setting out the purpose, guidelines and topics for the group chat.
“When a new person joins a group, the description will show up at the top of the chat,” the company said in a blog post on Tuesday.
There are also new admin controls that restrict who can change items like the subject, icon and the description. WhatsApp is also adding a participant search tool, which makes finding individuals easier.
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However, perhaps the most handy feature is the new ‘group catch up’ tool, which will help users keep track of active groups, while they’re away.
“When you’ve been away from a group chat, quickly catch up on messages that mention or reply to you by tapping on a new @ button that appears at the bottom right corner of the chat.”
Speaking personally, as a US resident, this will be handy when I wade through 100+ messages from active groups with my friends back home every morning.
The Facebook-owned app is also adding protections to ensure users can’t be added to groups they’ve left multiple times. Meanwhile, group owners can’t be removed from a group they created.
Group calling incoming
The update comes after WhatsApp promised a new group video calling feature at the Facebook F8 conference last month.
The new feature will allow WhatsApp to rival the likes of Skype, but we don’t know when it’ll be rolling out to the wider user base.
“Voice and video calling are very popular on WhatsApp, and we’re excited to share that group calling will be coming in the months ahead. Stickers are also coming to WhatsApp soon,” the company said at F8.
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