Whatsapp beta now experimenting ‘Group Descriptions’ on Android, Windows

Ever been invited to a group but not known what the group is about? The latest addition to Whatsapp beta is the ‘Add group description’ tab. It’s only available on the latest versions of beta for Android and Windows for now, which are 2.18.56 and 2.18.28 respectively.

All the participants can view and edit the description, as of now, but in the future WhatsApp plans to restrict that setting to the admin. That is, only the admin will be able to decide whether or not to let others in the group edit the description. This will bring the aspect of moderation into play when there are numerous members or if a group is public.

Testing the new 'group description' feature on Whatsapp beta Android.

Testing the new 'group description' feature on Whatsapp beta Android.

The group description has a 500-character limit and if any of the members aren’t using WhatsApp beta, then they won’t be able to view it. According to WABetaInfo, this feature has probably been integrated to incorporate a sense of purpose for a group so members will have a general sense of what the group is trying to accomplish. This may be especially useful for members that are invited to groups via links. They’ll be able to decipher if a group is worth joining or not depending on the specifications listed. 

Other developments

WhatsApp recently tested a ‘Demote admin’ feature in their beta app that would allow other admins to revoke access for an admin without having to delete the participant from the group and inviting them again so that they’d be a normal member. This feature came out on both Android and iOS versions of Whatsapp beta.

The Windows version of WhatsApp beta was also spotted testing out ‘Stickers’ on the app to elevate users from the usual emoticons that they use. The use of Stickers comes with its own unique Stickers notification icon shaped like a heart, though it hasn’t yet been seen on Android or iOS. 

Earlier this month, Whatsapp beta even launched a peer to peer payments feature that is being used by its million beta users in India. 

WhatsApp seems to be on the fast track of change to keep what works and add features that make communication even easier. With data costs falling in India, Whatsapp has, more or less, ousted the traditional short messaging service (SMS) to become the primary mode of text-based communication. 

Prabhjote Gill is the Senior Journalist at Business Insider India. She covering everything space, tech and defence at Business Insider India. She is also in-charge of allocating stories to junior writers.