WhatsApp released new features around group chats and admin controls as it looks to not just increase its user base, but more deeply engage current users.
The messaging service, whose co-founder Jan Koum recently stepped down and was replaced by an executive from parent Facebook, said in a blog post group admins can restrict who can change the group’s subject, icon and description. At the moment, any member can do this.
Given group chats can often inundate users with hundreds of messages, it will now be easier to catch up. Users can click a button to see communications which either mentions them, or are a direct reply to their message.
A short blurb found under group info will allow the creator “to set the purpose, guidelines, or topics for the group.”
“We’ve also introduced protection so users can’t be repeatedly added to groups they’ve left,” the post said.
TechCrunch reported WhatsApp is improving groups to better compete with Telegram. Although Telegram counts only 200 million users compared to WhatsApp’s 1.5 billion, it has become a popular platform for group chats with plently of admin controls.