WhatsApp has added new features for Groups on the messaging app, including the option for catching up with messages, as well as more controls for admin. WhatsApp says the new features will be available on Android and iOS smartphones from today, though some of the features have been rolled out via the beta versions of the app earlier as well. WhatsApp has announced four important changes to the Groups feature.
First is Group Description, which was in fact rolled out in March for Android and iOS and it lets users add a description for the group. When a new person joins the group, the description will show up at the top of the chat. This can be useful for office groups which are created with a defined purpose in mind. To add a group description, users should open WhatsApp, tap on the group where they would like to add a description. In here, there is a Group Info section on the right-hand corner, just tap on the “Description” section right below the group name and then add one. The group description is visible to all participants of the group and those who are invited to join the group. Anyone can change the group description.
WhatsApp also comes with better Admin controls in group settings, which will allow admins to restrict who can change the group’s subject, icon, and description. There’s also a new Group catch up feature, which will let a user quickly get updated with messages they might have missed from a group. Users can quickly catch up on messages that mention or reply to them by tapping on a new @ button that appears at the bottom right corner of the chat.
There’s also a participant search feature where users can find anyone in a group by searching for participants on the group info page. Finally, Admins can now remove admin permissions of other group participants. Additionally, group creators can no longer be removed from the group they started. Also WhatsApp is adding a new protection so users cannot be repeatedly added to groups they have left, which should appeal to a lot of people, especially those who find themselves being dragged back to groups, they wish to leave.
WhatsApp is also testing a ‘Restricted Group feature on the Android beta version of the app. At its F8 conference, Facebook announced that WhatsApp will soon get a Group video calling feature, with up to four people in a group video call. Stickers will be added to the app as well. The feature is expected to roll out soon, though no exact confirmation date has been given.