WhatsApp is getting a “read later” option

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WhatsApp users will soon be able to specify that they will not be notified of new messages for selected chats.

WhatsApp is to get a function that allows chats to be additionally muted. Conversations can be moved to a “Read later” category. The corresponding button will then be visible at the very top of the Chats tab: Anyone who clicks on it can view the muted chats.

The Read Later feature is documented at WABetaInfo and is intended to replace and expand the archiving of chats. If a chat is in the archive so far, the user will continue to be informed about new incoming messages and the chat will automatically be moved from the archive back to the main chat area.

Archive function on WhatsApp

In order not to be disturbed by certain chats, there was previously only the option to mute them: With this, the acoustic notifications can be switched off for individual chats either for 8 hours, 1 week or forever. However, the chat is still visible in the regular list of chats and the number of new messages is displayed.

The new “Read later” feature is available in beta version 2.21.2.2. It is unclear when the function will be available in the main version. Transitionally, it should be possible to turn off this new feature: Then the chat will be moved from the read-later collection to the list of main chats when a new message arrives.

Criticism of WhatsApp

Whatsapp had recently come under criticism for forcing consent to its new privacy policy, which states that data will be shared with other Facebook services. The option to share applies with the restriction that it cannot be used for advertising, but it can be used for analysis purposes. The messages themselves are still end-to-end encrypted, it’s all about the metadata.

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