WhatsApp beta tests chat filters...again

WhatsApp logo on a phone screen
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A new update sees the return of chat filters to WhatsApp beta.
  • Unlike previous tests, there are only three filters this time – All, Unread, and Groups.
  • This feature is currently only available to some beta testers, but it is expected to be rolled out to more users in the coming weeks.

WhatsApp has introduced a new beta feature that reintroduces chat filters to the popular messaging app. It’s not the first time chat filters have appeared in a beta version of the app.

According to WABetaInfo (via Android Police), the latest beta update – version – is rolling out a feature that allows users to filter chats. This version of the chat filter feature offers three filtering options: All, Unread, and Groups. The new filters are positioned as a new row of lozenge-shaped buttons at the top of the screen, just below the top app bar. 

Perhaps significantly, there is no contacts filter on this feature version. Last July, a previous beta test took place, and there were additional filters, including Personal and Business. In September, another beta update saw these two filters renamed as Contacts and Groups. 

Screenshot of the chat filters in the latest WhatsApp beta update

(Image credit: WABetaInfo)

It’s unclear why the contacts filter has been removed, but it is likely to be based on user feedback. In theory, chat filters will enable users to find specific conversations more quickly and easily, improving the user experience as a result.    

While WhatsApp is relatively simple to use, anyone who has many conversations on the go will have experienced the challenge of trying to find a specific chat. Allowing users to filter for unread messages or group chats could make it a lot easier to locate and access specific messages.

According to WABetaInfo, this feature is currently available to just a few beta testers, but the expectation is that it will become available to more users “over the coming weeks.”

We’ve previously reported that WhatsApp web is working on a favorites feature, as well as similar developments on the iOS version of WhatsApp. This suggests that chat filters could be a prominent part of future planned updates to the stable version of WhatsApp.

Steven Shaw

Steven Shaw is a full-time freelancer, but before he changed his career at the start of 2021, he was in the retail industry, leading teams to achieve goals in selling technology products, such as smartphones, tablets, and more. Graduating from the University of Cambridge with a Masters in Medieval History, he's always had a passion for the topic, alongside technology and many Simpsons quotes.