WhatsApp tests new tool to silence friends in group chats

The Restricted Groups feature was spotted by WABetaInfo in beta versions of WhatsApp for iOS and Android.

With the feature, the group administrator can choose to disable the group’s chat features.

This means that other participants won’t be able to send messages, images, videos, GIFs, documents or voice messages.

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A notification will appear in the chat, stating: ‘[Admin name] allowed only admins to send messages to this group.’

Participants will still be able to read the admin’s messages.

A blog by WABetaInfo explained: ‘When administrators disable the chat features, only they can interact each other in the group: this may happen when an administrator wants to get the attention of all participants, writing something important or to organize an event.’

If a non-admin participant really needs to write something in the restricted group, they can contact the administrator through the Message admin button.

Thankfully, the silencing isn’t permanent, and admins can only apply the restricted setting every 72 hours.

The feature is currently being trialled in the beta version of the app.

It is unclear when, or if, WhatsApp will roll it out to all users.


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