Given by WhatsApp's simplicity, group chats are essential to many users as it's common for them to use it to stay in touch.
This one feature rarely gets feature updates, but that doesn't mean that it's forgotten. On its blog post, Facebook's popular messaging WhatsApp announced a bunch of features to streamline group chats, and make it even easier to manage groups. They include:
- Group description that shows up at the top of the chat, is visible to all members.
- Admin can restrict who can change the group's subject, icon, and description.
- Quickly catch up to messages and mentions using a single tap.
- The ability to find anyone in a group by searching for participants on the group info page.
- Admins can remove admin permissions of other group participants. Group creators can no longer be removed.
WhatsApp have taken a central role in the messaging world, helping connect people more than 1.5 billion people across the globe. And its Groups feature has hit the 200 million user milestone.
The update which is available to both users using Android and iOS, is clearly useful for groups with a large number of participants. WhatsApp is aware that its chats sometimes serve as vital communication tools, and improving control over those conversations should make the platform a better experience for users.
There is also a protection feature which prevent users to be repeatedly added to groups they've left.
These improvements should also help WhatsApp to compete better with Telegram.
Telegram has emerged as a secured messaging platform, popular for chat groups, especially those with interests in cryptocurrency. Telegram has plenty of admin controls, putting its group feature ahead of WhatsApp.
"These are features are based on user requests. We develop the product based on what our users want and need," said a WhatsApp spokesperson. "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."