Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp is rolling out a new feature for its Android and Windows Phone beta versions. With the latest update, WhatsApp will add a new “Add group description” tab in a group with placement depending on whether the viewer is part of the group or not. The feature is expected to be available on iPhone in the coming days. Any member in the group can reportedly edit the text in the new group description tab, although WhatsApp might be looking to restrict access to admins in future updates. The maximum character limit for group descriptions is 500 characters.
Available on WhatsApp beta version 2.18.54 on Android and WhatsApp beta version 2.18.28 on Windows Phone, the new group description feature has possibly been incorporated to help new members get a brief sense of a group’s purpose and activities before joining it, WhatsApp watcher WABetaInfo reports. Notably, the feature isn’t working for everyone, and may be a limited test. Some of us were unable to access the new group description feature despite being on the WhatsApp v2.18.54 beta for Android, while others were able to.
This move is expected to offer better context to public groups after chat invite links were launched by WhatsApp in 2016. While the ability to edit group description is currently available for all group members, we can expect WhatsApp to restrict access to only group admins in the future. This will offer a certain level of moderation if the group is public and/ or has numerous members. The description will be visible on the chat page as a pinned box apart from the group info page below group name.
WhatsApp was recently spotted testing out a new “Demote as Admin” feature that lets group admins revoke admin rights for any of the other admins in the same group.
Separately, WhatsApp was spotted testing ‘Stickers’ feature in the latest Windows Phone beta app. The feature is currently not available on Android or iPhone, and it is still a hidden feature even on the Windows Phone version of the messaging app. WhatsApp also added Live Location sharing and customised Stickers notifications on the Windows Phone beta app.