WhatsApp is testing a new feature that lets you quietly leave group chats without sending a notification to other members
Ever found yourself stuck in a WhatsApp group chat that has become a bit noisy or irrelevant, but don’t want to leave for risk of offending friends or family?
There could be a solution before too long, after it emerged that WhatsApp is testing a new feature that lets you quietly leave a group chat without sending a notification to other members.
The new feature was first spotted by independent WhatsApp experts WABetaInfo, which searches early beta versions of the app to identify upcoming features before they are released.
It clarified in a blog post that group admins will still be able to see who exits the group when the feature becomes available, but other members won’t.
The new feature could prevent awkward confrontations with more sensitive group members who might take your departure badly.
WhatsApp is testing a new feature that lets you quietly leave a group chat without sending a notification to other members
WABetaInfo has obtained a screenshot of a WhatsApp beta on desktop that shows an exit prompt reading: ‘Only you and group admins will be notified that you left the group.’
Other new group features coming to WhatsApp
Reactions – Emoji reactions are coming to WhatsApp so people can quickly share their opinion without flooding chats with new messages.
Admin Delete – Group admins will be able to remove errant or problematic messages from everyone’s chats.
File Sharing – WhatsApp is increasing file sharing to support files up to 2 gigabytes so people can easily collaborate on projects.
Larger Voice Calls – WhatsApp will introduce one-tap voice calling for up to 32 people with all new design for those times when talking live is better than chatting.
Mark Zuckerberg first revealed the company’s plans to allow users to silently leave groups back in April, when Meta announced the new Communities feature that lets you place several group chats together and message them all at the same time.
However, no details have been forthcoming from the company since then.
Now WABetaInfo has obtained a screenshot of a WhatsApp beta on desktop that shows an exit prompt reading: ‘Only you and group admins will be notified that you left the group.’
‘This screenshot is very clear: when you want to exit a WhatsApp group, other people won’t be notified in the chat,’ the company said in a blog post.
‘Only group admins will be able to see who exits the group, but others don’t.’
When you exit a group currently, WhatsApp adds a system message in the chat to inform all participants that you have left the group
The feature is planned to be rolled out to users ‘in a future update’, according to WABetaInfo, but no date has yet been given for the release.
While it is currently under development for WhatsApp Desktop, it is expected to be released on WhatsApp for Android and iOS as well.
WhatsApp Communities allows users to place several group chats together under one topic and share updates with them all
Last month, WhatsApp unveiled a new tool called Communities that lets you message several groups at once.
The tool will allow users to organise different group chats together under a single main topic, for example, their children’s school or the street they live on, with Community admins able to share messages with everyone and have control over which groups can be included.
‘In the same way that social feeds took the basic technology behind the internet and made it so anyone could find people and content online, I think community messaging will take the basic protocols behind one-to-one messaging and extend them so you can communicate more easily with groups of people to get things done together,’ he said at the time.
BEST WHATSAPP ALTERNATIVES
If you’re considering deleting WhatsApp, you’ll be happy to hear that there are several alternative apps to choose from:
With more than 400 million users, Telegram is one of the most popular WhatsApp alternatives.
While it looks very similar to WhatsApp, what sets it apart is the fact that it gives the option to set messages to self-destruct after a given period of time, leaving no trace.
Telegram also offers end-to-end encryption.
However, as a WhatsApp spokesperson pointed out, Telegram ‘does not offer end-to-end encryption by default so it’s not necessarily more secure than WhatsApp’.
Signal is one of the most secure messaging apps, thanks to the fact that it is open-source.
This means that the code for the app is publicly available to view, making it near-impossible for the app’s creators to sneak in any backdoors that could allow governments or hackers to spy on your messages.
If you use an iPhone, you may consider simply switching to iMessage, Apple’s own messaging app.
The app has a number of impressive features included no character limits, the ability to send pictures and videos, and of course Apple’s animated emoji feature, Animoji.
Unfortunately, iMessage is only available for iPhone users, so you’ll struggle to interact with anyone using an Android.
4. Google Messages
Google’s answer to iMessage is Google Messages, an Android-only messaging service.
The app replaces your standard SMS app, and integrates with all of Google’s apps and services, making it easy to share images or use Google Assistant.
5. Facebook Messenger
If you were put off using WhatsApp due to its sharing of data with Facebook, Facebook Messenger may not be the best option for you.
However, the app offers a number of helpful features, including games, secret conversations and video calls.