In the previous major update, WhatsApp allowed users to revoke the sent messages using ‘delete for everyone’, which is proving to be a very handy feature for the users who have sent a wrong message to an unintended person or group. Moving ahead, WhatsApp is planning to increase the powers of Group Admins, allowing them to maintain a tighter control over the group members and the content they share, including text messages, images, videos, gifs, voice messages and documents.
According to WABetainfo, WhatsApp is calling this new feature as ‘Restricted Groups’ and has added the feature in its beta app. Restricted Groups will reportedly allow the WhatsApp group administrators to approve a message before it gets published into the group. If Group Admins feel any member has misused the group, it will also allow them to restrict the member from posting anything in the group, without actually removing the member from the group.
Only Group Admins will be able to activate the Restricted Groups feature. Even if a Group Admin has restricted all the members, the Admin can keep posting as normal. Once restricted, other members will simply get to read the messages and will not be able to respond. However, restricted members can still contact the Admin using the ‘Message Admin’ button to post a message or share media.
The need to introduce the Restricted Groups feels natural. As WhatsApp is the favourite and most widely used messaging platform in India and we have heard a number of cases were the groups were used for sharing un-ethical, abusive or unlawful content and there were some instances where the Group Admins were held responsible for everything. So, even if this feature is coming late, it’s a welcome addition.
This new feature is currently available on the WhatsApp beta version 2.17.430 which is submitted to the Google Play Store for approval and may be rolled out soon.