WhatsApp has recently hit the headlines again with the announcement of its new features for groups. Also, WhatsApp has introduced this recent feature rolling out to both Android and iPhone users with the latest versions of the stable apps. Now, almost all of these new WhatsApp group features have been seen in prior Android beta builds, stable builds on either platform or have been spotted in development but has been disabled by default. The new features include the ability to set a group description, new controls for WhatsApp group admins, a mentions feature, as well as participant search. All the new features would be applicable to new and existing groups.
So, to start with these new WhatsApp group features, group creators can now add a group description when creating a group, allowing them to show participants a short blurb that describes the purpose, guidelines, or topics for the group. The group description can be changed by group admins and participants, with admins also having the option to restrict participants from doing so.
Other new features include WhatsApp group admin entrusted with the ability to control who can change a group’s subject and icon, giving them a choice between all participants or only admins. Group admins can now also remove admin permissions of other group participants, while group creators can no longer be removed from the group they created.
WhatsApp users can now also use the new mentions feature in groups. Also referred to as ‘group catch up’, the feature lets users find those messages in which they have been mentioned or those messages that reply to them. To find these messages, WhatsApp group users would only have to tap the @ button that now appears at the bottom-right corner of the chat.
Finally, WhatsApp users would be also able to search for participants in a group, by visiting the Group info section within a group. The Facebook-owned company also announced that it has made it harder for users to be re-added to groups they’ve left and this is quite an effort for the reduction of spam group invitations.
Announcing the new features in an emailed statement, WhatsApp added that, “Groups have been an important part of the WhatsApp experience, whether it’s family members connecting across the globe or childhood friends staying in touch over the years. There are also people coming together in groups on WhatsApp like new parents looking for support, students organizing study sessions, and even city leaders coordinating relief efforts after natural disasters. Today, we’re sharing improvements that we’ve made to groups.”