New features are currently in the works for messaging service WhatsApp, according to insider website WABetaInfo.
The changes largely focus on WhatsApp group functionality, specifically giving group admins more control over the participation and content of group chats, enhancing their moderation capabilities.
According to WABetaInfo, the platform will soon allow group admins to delete messages. The feature was first spotted in testing in 2021, but has now started rolling out.
Admins can delete messages by long-tapping the message in question and selecting ‘Delete for everyone‘. The message will be replaced with placeholder text with the name of the admin who deleted it, so all participants will know who took the action.
WhatsApp is also rolling out a feature to allow users to see a history of participants in a group.
This includes those who left or were removed from a group within a 60-day period.
These new features are bolstering WhatsApp group admin moderation tools – something which the platform has been lacking when compared to other apps like Telegram or Signal.
This is particularly important within a South African context, where messages shared over WhatsApp hold serious legal repercussions, and group admins carry responsibility when it comes to some content and how information is handled within groups.
The popular messaging app is also still working on and rolling out other changes like presenting links in a rich-text format in status updates.
Under the current format, links appear as simple text in statuses. With the update, these links will now present in more detail, including pulling in images and/or text from the link source, and displaying it in a box similar to how they are presented on platforms like Instagram.
Other changes being developed or rolled out include:
- Allowing users to add a voice note as their status update;
- Adding support for syncing chats across multiple smartphones;
- Rolling out the ability to use any emoji as a reaction;
- A ‘stealth mode’ for online status;
- Allowing users to edit their own messages.
WABetaInfo noted that the rollout of features on WhatsApp has been historically slow, and not the same across the Android and iOS platforms, so users shouldn’t expect every feature to be available immediately.