The instant messaging platform, WhatsApp, which is currently going through a lot of changes under Facebook has rolled out a new feature, which allows a group administrator to restrict group participants from editing the group info. WhatsApp rolled out the Group Info section earlier this year, allowing users to set a description for the group. Since the feature rollout, any member of the group was allowed to edit the description, however, with this new update, WhatsApp is giving users a new option of ‘Admins or every member.’ When a user changes it to Admins, only the group administrators can edit the group info, and when ‘Every Member’ is selected, the group participants can also edit the group info. For now, this feature has been rolled out only to Android Beta users, but other platforms will get it at a later date.
This report has surfaced from WABetaInfo which is a blog catering to WhatsApp fans, regularly updating people about the new features and updates of the application. The blog post which described this new update said that users would need to update their WhatsApp to v2.18.132 beta to access this feature. This feature is being called the Restricted Group feature and will allow the group administrators will be able to find it by navigating to Group info > Group settings > Edit group info.
Here, WhatsApp users will get the option to choose who can change the group’s subject, icon, and description – with two choices 1) All participants or 2) Only admins. The new Group settings section is also where administrators can assign new group admins.
The blog post highlighted “All participants can normally edit the group description, icon and subject, but finally the administrator can restrict this feature today, preventing no-administrators to modify the group description.” It is noteworthy that the group description feature first rolled out on WhatsApp in the month of February, since then a lot of users have felt the need to restrict editing rights of the group info in many WhatsApp groups. Right now, with the feature rolling out to Android Beta many are expecting to soon see the new feature on Windows and iPhones too.
The WABetaInfo blog also outlines several other features which are upcoming and can be seen on WhatsApp soon. These features which include the Restricted group feature have been in testing since November last year and are disabled by default. Restricted Group features which include the ability to block all participants from being able to Send messages – including group text messages, images, videos, GIFs, documents, voice messages – or even starting a new live location session. Administrators of the group will have full rights and will be able to choose whether all participants or only admins have access to these features. Further, a participant will have the option to request the admin for obtaining permission to post by the use of Message admin button.