If you belong to a number of WhatsApp groups, it can be irritating to get alerts from them during times when you only want personal messages. That’s a problem WhatsApp appears to be looking to solve …
WABetaInfo spotted a new feature being tested in the iOS, Android and Windows Phone apps, known as Vacation Mode.
This is designed to fix one of WhatsApp’s more annoying features: when you mute a chat, it doesn’t stay muted.
Currently, when you archive a chat, WhatsApp automatically unarchives it once a new message is received from that chat.
Thanks to the Vacation Mode feature, things are going to change soon for archived chats: when the feature is enabled from your WhatsApp Notification Settings, archived chats won’t be unarchived if you have previously muted them!
The name suggests the company thinks you’re most likely to use it when on holiday, when you want to step back from the everyday trivia of your community and interest groups, and deal only with personal messages. But leaving vacation mode permanently enabled would also be possible.
Your archived chats would still receive new messages, you just wouldn’t be alerted to them. A related feature, already live in the Android version of the app, is called Silent Mode. This ensures that the app badge counter isn’t updated by new posts in archived chats.
Finally, WhatsApp is also working on some kind of linked account feature. In current testing, it only supports Instagram. The site says its purpose isn’t yet clear, but speculates that you may be able to recover passwords to other services via the feature, and businesses may be able to share status updates across platforms.
In other WhatsApp news, privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo discovered that half of American WhatsApp users are unaware that the app is owned by Facebook. TNW wonders whether tech giants should be made to be more transparent about their brands, so that anyone who decided to boycott Facebook, for example, would know to consider including WhatsApp.