Big changes coming to WhatsApp

WhatsApp is expanding its new group privacy and invite settings to a number of additional countries, reports WABetaInfo.

First announced in April 2019, the new features will give users more control over the group messages they receive.

In a new settings menu dedicated to groups, users will be able to select one of three options:

  • Nobody
  • My Contacts
  • Everyone

“(The) ‘Nobody’ setting means you’ll have to approve joining every group to which you’re invited, and ‘My Contacts’ means only users you have in your address book can add you to groups.

“In those cases, the person adding you to a group will be prompted to send a private invite through an individual chat, giving you the choice of joining the group. You’ll have three days to accept the invite before it expires,” WhatsApp said.

The new group privacy setting is just one of a number of changes that the popular messaging app is looking to introduce.

Some of the other major changes are outlined below.


Facebook will begin publishing adverts on WhatsApp’s status page starting in 2020, according to a tweet by an attendee of a Facebook Marketing Summit earlier this year.

“WhatsApp will bring Stories Ads in its status product in 2020,” the tweet said, showing the presentation which confirmed the launch date.

This latest development means that previous reports suggesting that adverts could come to WhatsApp as soon as 2019 appear to be incorrect.

WhatsApp will join fellow Facebook-owned social media platform Instagram in running adverts through its Status feature.

Facebook also recently announced that it would be implementing business catalogues within WhatsApp.

“With catalogues, businesses can showcase their goods so people can easily discover them,” it said.

New themes 

WhatsApp is developing a dark mode for its Android application, alongside a new settings menu focusing on themes.

WABetaInfo reported that this section will include:

  • Light theme: The standard white theme that is the current default for WhatsApp;
  • Dark theme: Adopts blue and black night colours instead;
  • System default: WhatsApp identifies the theme used by your Android system (if light or dark), and sets it in WhatsApp automatically.

When System Default is selected, WhatsApp will automatically detect which theme is used by your Android operating system and set the same theme within the application.

Disappearing messages

WhatsApp is currently working on a  ‘disappearing messages’ feature similar to rival messaging apps.

When the disappearing messages setting is turned on for a chat, all messages sent by participants will be removed after a pre-defined interval.

The current implementation of this functionality in the Android beta version of WhatsApp allows messages to be automatically deleted from a chat after either five seconds or one hour.

Read: Sending these types of WhatsApp messages could soon land you in jail in South Africa

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Big changes coming to WhatsApp