There have been some pretty major changes and additions to WhatsApp in recent weeks and months, and the latest development sees the arrival of a replacement for the current Archived Chats feature.
The new version of Archived Chats is called Read Later, and it brings important changes to the way messages can be archived and muted. The new Read Later option works in conjunction with the Vacation Mode we wrote about recently.
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One of the key changes with Read Later is that even when chats have been archived – or marked for reading at a later time – new messages will arrive and be added to the archive, but you won't be pestered by notifications about them. Introductory text shows that WhatsApp's thinking here is to help reduce interruptions.
For now, references to Read Later have only been spotted in the iOS version of WhatsApp (specifically WhatsApp Messenger beta for iOS 126.96.36.199), but it's hard to imagine that the feature won't also arrive on Android. But with the feature not having been officially announced, it is hard to say quite when everyone will get their hands on it.
While Read Later chats are silenced so you're not bothered by them, the Read Later section is always available in your chat list so you can jump back to them whenever you want to. If you decide you want to receive notifications rom a particular chat thread again, you can unarchive one of more chats in a few taps.
At the moment the changes can only be seen by people who are signed up to WhatsApp's TestFlight beta program. This is currently fully subscribed so, unless you have already managed to sign up, this unfortunately means you'll have to wait for the feature to roll out to the main release version of the app.
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