WhatsApp backtracks on unpopular redesign decision

WhatsApp logo shown on a smartphone
(Image credit: Alex Ruhl / Shutterstock.com)

WhatsApp is an app that's constantly developing and evolving, with changes and new features being introduced with astonishing frequency. But change does not always mean that there are new things to try out; sometimes there are lessons to be learned from the past.

And this seems to be precisely what has happened. An update is in the process of rolling out to WhatsApp users that undoes a design change that was only very recently introduced. So, what is going on?

In just the last few days, WhatsApp users were met with a new look for their contacts list. The redesign saw the arrival of new "Frequently contacted" and "Recent chat" options, and it was a change that did not go down well.

The WhatsApp experts and fanatics at WABetaInfo asked their readers what they thought of the change. The tweets that came in response where far from glowing, with replies ranging from "not good" to "it's horrible".

Now WhatsApp has apparently seen the error of its way and is reinstating the old look for the contact interface.

Ch... ch… ch... changes...

WABetaInfo is not claiming to have been instrumental in getting WhatsApp to change its mind and give people what they want, but it is likely that feedback from other sources was very similar. As a result, the contact list is reverting back to a simple alphabetical list, complete with an indication of the number of contacts.

The quick change of heart just goes to highlight the importance of beta testing for gauging user reaction to features, settings and interface options. Users who contribute such feedback can be absolutely instrumental in shaping the future direction of an app.

If you are part of the WhatsApp beta program, use the Play Store app to grab the latest update which should take you up to version 2.22.5.9 of the app and restore the familiar contacts interface. You may not see the update or the changes straight away, so you may need to be patient while it rolls out.

Via WABetaInfo

Sofia Elizabella Wyciślik-Wilson
Freelance writer

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 25 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fueled by technology, music and nature.

Having written for websites and magazines since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.

Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy. Her other loves include walking, music, her two Malamutes and, of course, her wife and daughter.

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