WhatsApp update brings Slack-style group messaging features and new admin controls

WhatsApp group messaging

The latest update rolling out to WhatsApp users heralds the arrival of a batch of new group messaging features.

Available to both iOS and Android users, the new features include a Slack-style "group catch up" option, and it is also possible to add a description to group chats, and search for individual participants.

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Group messaging has become increasingly important to WhatsApp in recent times, as users turn to the app to stay in touch not only with friends and family, but also business colleagues. The new features are going to be of particular interest to larger groups, but it will appeal to smaller groups of chatters as well.

WhatsApp shares details about the update in a blog post:

  • Group description: A short blurb found under group info that allows you to set the purpose, guidelines, or topics for the group. When a new person joins a group, the description will show up at the top of the chat.
  • Admin controls: In group settings, there's now a control that allows admins to restrict who can change the group's subject, icon, and description.
  • Group catch up: 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.
  • Participant search: Find anyone in a group by searching for participants on the group info page.

WhatsApp also says that admins can now remove admin permissions of other group participants, and group creators can no longer be removed from the group they started.

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