WhatsApp to roll out ‘read-later’ feature

WhatsApp is working on a major update, especially for those of us who are terrible at responding to messages. The Read Later feature will replace the Archive Chats feature.

As reported by trusted WhatsApp tester, WA Beta Info, it will be “an improved version” with a few additional tweaks and changes. Here’s what we know.

WhatsApp ‘Read Later’ feature

Replacing Archive Chats

The Read Later feature is currently in its beta testing phase. Testers report that it allows users to archive chats and switch off notifications for any new messages.

Arriving in a new beta version, the Read Later will allow users to archive chats; you won’t receive new notifications while this feature is enabled. It’s similar to the Vacation Mode.

“WhatsApp is now going to replace, in a future update, ‘Archived Chats’ with ‘Read Later’ [which] is basically an improved version of ‘Archived Chats’ but, in this case, no notifications will be presented when new messages arrive from archived chats”.

How it would work

WA Beta Info explains that “you will find a new persistent cell at the top of your chat list called ‘Read Later’”; once the feature is enabled for the general public.

By “unarchiving” a chat, you will reverse this process. The chat will show up in your list of other chats, and you’ll receive notifications for that user again.

If you open a “Read Later” message, you’ll see a banner notifying you that “Archive is now Read Later”; and that marking messages as ‘Read Later’ will reduce interruptions.

How to reverse WhatsApp’s Read Later feature

From the “Read Later” settings (as can be seen in the image below), you’d be able to move new messages to the archive section. Or move it back to the main chats list as you please.

In essence, Chats will stay in this section and “you won’t get any notifications”, until you manually disable the feature.

WhatsApp Read Later feature
Image via WA Beta Info

WhatsApp disappearing messages

The WA developers team recently confirmed via WhatsApp’s official blog that they would also be rolling out a “disappearing messages” feature in due course.

The team had been working on the feature for 13 months and added the Beta version to the Google Play Beta Program on 5 November 2020.

In addition, WA Beta Info at the time explained that users will be able to mark chats as “disappeared” by selecting the corresponding option in the Group Info section.

The WA developers team said that “WhatsApp messages often live on our phones forever”, but that most of the messages we send to family and friends “doesn’t need to be everlasting”. They explained:

“Our goal is to make conversations on WhatsApp feel as close to in-person as possible”.

Read more here: WhatsApp rolls out ‘disappearing messages’ feature