Almost everyone who owns a smart phone has WhatsApp and is likely in a group or two. Lately we have also seen more corporates embracing the app as an official channel of communication for the group option and the easy document sharing and call features.
Until recently when WhatsApp introduced the quotes feature, one could not know when they were mentioned in a conversation in a group chat and going through the numerous messages was both tiresome and boring.
But now WhatsApp has made group chats even better with the tag feature. The tag is similar to that on Facebook and Twitter and allows users in group chats to tag other participants. On tagging, the mentioned participant receives a notification even if they’ve muted the conversation.
The tag notification is unchanged as of now but hopefully WhatsApp will look into coming up with a different notification for group mentions in the future.
The new feature works on both Android and iOS, but not on the web version.
How the tag feature works
Simply enter the ‘@’ symbol, followed by name of participant you would like to tag; you can choose a contact from the pop up menu.
You can also tag multiple contacts in a single message.
The feature also works with contacts that you haven’t saved to your address book, but are part of the same group chat as you.
With this new tagging feature, the Facebook-owned messaging service will make conversations on group chats a lot easier and productive which will come in handy especially for corporates though it may not sit well with those who have muted conversations.
The new tag feature comes just a few months after WhatsApp introduced the ‘star message’ feature which is similar to twitter’s favourite / like button, the option to send documents and the “pinch to zoom” on videos aimed at improving users experience.
The expanded group sizes from 100 to 256 participants, the quotes feature and now the tag, it is evident that WhatsApp is not only focused on improving individual chats but group chats as well.
WhatsApp is the best thing to happen to communication and the new features are pretty neat but like the request for an edit button by millions on Twitter, WhatsApp has still not come up with the option to either accept or decline a group invite.
With the new focus to improve users experience with group chats the feature could be an amazing addition.
The new tag feature is also evident of the increasing trend of borrowing feature ideas by social media platforms with Twitter recently increasing its word count and a read receipt on DMs. Its highly likely that we will see a GIF converter feature in the next WhatsApp version.