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WhatsApp is testing feature that lets users quietly leave a chat group

  • WhatsApp is testing a new feature that lets you silently leave a group chat
  • Admins will still be able to see who exits the group when the feature launches
  • However, other members of the group will not be notified
  • The feature could prevent awkward confrontations with other group members

Ever found yourself stuck in a WhatsApp group chat that has become a bit noisy or irrelevant, but don’t want to leave for risk of offending friends or family?

There could be a solution before too long, after it emerged that WhatsApp is testing a new feature that lets you quietly leave a group chat without sending a notification to other members. 

The new feature was first spotted by independent WhatsApp experts WABetaInfo, which searches early beta versions of the app to identify upcoming features before they are released.

It clarified in a blog post that group admins will still be able to see who exits the group when the feature becomes available, but other members won’t.

The new feature could prevent awkward confrontations with more sensitive group members who might take your departure badly.

Mark Zuckerberg first revealed the company’s plans to allow users to silently leave groups back in April, when Meta announced the new Communities feature that lets you place several group chats together and message them all at the same time.

However, no details have been forthcoming from the company since then.

Now WABetaInfo has obtained a screenshot of a WhatsApp beta on desktop that shows an exit prompt reading: ‘Only you and group admins will be notified that you left the group.’ 

‘This screenshot is very clear: when you want to exit a WhatsApp group, other people won’t be notified in the chat,’ the company said in a blog post.

‘Only group admins will be able to see who exits the group, but others don’t.’

When you exit a group currently, WhatsApp adds a system message in the chat to inform all participants that you have left the group

The feature is planned to be rolled out to users ‘in a future update’, according to WABetaInfo, but no date has yet been given for the release.

While it is currently under development for WhatsApp Desktop, it is expected to be released on WhatsApp for Android and iOS as well.

Last month, WhatsApp unveiled a new tool called Communities that lets you message several groups at once. 

The tool will allow users to organise different group chats together under a single main topic, for example, their children’s school or the street they live on, with Community admins able to share messages with everyone and have control over which groups can be included. 

The Meta-owned messaging app said it would begin rolling out the feature slowly and as a test, but Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg said the change was an ‘important evolution’ for WhatsApp. 

‘In the same way that social feeds took the basic technology behind the internet and made it so anyone could find people and content online, I think community messaging will take the basic protocols behind one-to-one messaging and extend them so you can communicate more easily with groups of people to get things done together,’ he said at the time.

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