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WhatsApp Android beta hints at new ‘Ignore archived chat’ feature

WhatsApp’s Ignore archived chat feature spotted in Android beta. (Image source: AP)

WhatsApp could be planning to add a new ‘Ignore archived chat’ feature to the app. Back in October 2018, it was reported that a ‘Vacation Mode’ was in the works for WhatsApp, which would let users keep their muted, archived chats as archived even when a new message arrived. Currently WhatsApp unarchives any chat, when a new message arrives in it. With the new Android beta 2.19.101, users could soon ignore these archived chats, and it looks like this will be the new name for the Vacation mode.

According to WABetaInfo version 2.19.101 is where the Ignore archive chats was spotted, though not all users on the beta program will see it as this is still under development. The Archived chats can be found in the main menu, and the Ignore archived chats will be part of WhatsApp settings, followed by Notifications.

In notifications, users will see an option to turn on ‘Ignore Archived chat’. This will ensure that the chat only gets unarchived when a user chooses to do so. So even if a new message arrives in this particular chat, it won’t automatically unarchived as is the current case in WhatsApp.

This will ensure that if a user wishes to ignore a group chat why they are away on vacation they will be able to do so by just archiving it and turning on the Ignore option. Currently if a user archives the chat, it disappears from the main chat menu, but keep in mind archiving does not delete a chat.

Other new features that have been rolled out on the WhatsApp Android beta include the ability to send 30 audio files in on go with a new user interface. Finally, version 2.19.97 beta update also hints at a "frequently forwarded message" restriction feature, where a group admin will be able to limit users in the group from sending messages, which have been forwarded frequently. It is being seen as another attempt by WhatsApp to curb the spread of misinformation on the platform, especially in India, where the app has over 250 million users.