What you need to know
- WhatsApp is rolling out a new feature that lets group admins delete messages for everyone.
- The new capability is available to beta testers for the time being.
- Group members will be able to see which group admin removed a certain message.
WhatsApp is adding a new feature that allows admins to remove unwanted or abusive messages sent by any group chat participant, and deleted messages will be removed for everyone.
According to WABetaInfo (opens in new tab), the Meta-owned messaging platform is rolling out the new capability for group admins. The report says that it's only currently available in the beta version, though not all beta testers may see it at this moment.
Once an admin deletes a message, it is removed for everyone in the group chat. Deleted messages will also be replaced with a box specifying that an admin removed that content.
The new feature addresses one of the app's longtime shortcomings by granting admins the privilege to exercise control over a small circle of people who share the same interest. Currently, WhatsApp group admins have limited controls, such as the ability to kick out members and choose who can join a group. But there's no option for them to remove abusive messages.
With the new capability, admins only need to long-press a message and then tap the option for deleting it. A dialogue box will appear before the action is completed, confirming that you are deleting the message as an admin.
That said, the new feature isn't entirely new, and WhatsApp is only playing catch-up with some of the best messaging apps. For example, Telegram has long had an option for group admins to delete messages sent by anyone.
While the feature is rolling out to WhatsApp's beta version, it should be noted that it may not go live for every group admin just yet. WABetaInfo notes that the rollout is "incredibly slow."
The latest change complements WhatsApp's existing controls over annoying group members. Most recently, it added the ability for users to mute or message specific people during a call.
Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.
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