At the start of this month, WhatsApp added some new features to group conversations in the beta version of the Android app. Those features and more are now rolling out to everyone in the stable channel, and they include expanded admin controls, group catch-up, and participant search.
According to WhatsApp’s blog post, the inclusion of a group description field is also new, but as far as we know, that’s been around for quite a while (at least 8 months). It may have been part of an A/B test before, but either way, that’s now official too.
The other new features outlined by WhatsApp are as follows:
- Admin controls – Those with admin rights can now decide whether those who don’t are able to change the subject, icon, and description of the group. Moreover, admins can remove admin permission from others (without removing them from the group) and group creators are now immune to being ejected.
- Catch-up – When you return to a group chat with a fair few messages, a new @ button floating in the bottom right corner (above image) will show you any mentions or replies so you don’t need to sift through everything to get to something important.
- Participant search – On the group info screen, there is now a search function — handy for groups with a large number of members (below image).
One other thing of note is that you can no longer be repeatedly added to a group that you’ve already left. WhatsApp has introduced a safeguard against this, so your annoying friends won’t be able to re-add over and over just to piss you off.
All of these new features should be available to you already, so try updating the app through the Play Store if not — you need version 2.18.42. Alternatively, you can sideload it from APK Mirror.