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New WhatsApp update will return power to group administrators

The new WhatsApp update, which is already rolling out, will make group admin duties an easier task.

Published onMay 17, 2018

  • WhatsApp is getting new features that will improve group chats.
  • Group descriptions and improved admin controls are now available.
  • Regular users are also getting some new features, including protection against unwanted group chat adds.

Between sports, family members, and colleagues, it seems like people have a WhatsApp group for every situation. The functionality could definitely use improvements though, so we’re glad to see WhatsApp announce a slew of features, mostly focused on administrators.

The Facebook-owned platform announced several major group-related features this week, starting with a description field. The feature, first spotted in February, simply gives groups a description section. This allows administrators to detail the group’s purpose — no need to squeeze everything into the group name. And your new members don’t need to wonder why they’ve been added to the group in the first place.

Read more: You now need to be 16 years of age to use WhatsApp in Europe

Admin controls have also received a much-needed boost with the new update. First of all, WhatsApp now lets administrators control who can change the group name, icon and description. Previously, anyone could add an expletive-laden name and dodgy group icon — or maybe that’s just me.

Administrators can also revoke admin permissions from other group members, while group creators can no longer be removed from their own group. The former feature could be especially handy for work-related groups and the like, such as when an employee leaves the company. But what if the departing employee in question was responsible for creating the group? Hm…

WhatsApp features for regular users?

It’s clear WhatsApp wants to return power to group creators and administrators, but it’s also added a few features for ordinary group members. For one, you can now catch up with your mentions/replies in a group by tapping a new “@” button that appears in the lower right corner.

WhatsApp's Status feature has double the daily users of Snapchat

Tired of being added to that work or school group? WhatsApp is also launching “protection” so you can’t be repeatedly added to groups you’ve left.

Finally, you can now search for group participants using a search field. Previously, users had to browse through the entire list of participants to find a specific contact.

These new features launched for Android and iOS users Tuesday, May 15. Have you received the update? What kind of improvements would you like to see in WhatsApp? Let us know in the comments!

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