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WhatsApp just revealed a big upgrade to keep you from jumping ship

WhatsApp Read Later beta
(Image credit: Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

With all the uproar about the impending changes to WhatsApp's privacy policy, and how it shares data with Facebook, it’s easy to forget that it has a lot of great features. And there are always new ones on the way. 

WABetaInfo has discovered a new feature called “Read Later” is coming to Android in the near future. Because nothing is worse than constantly getting notifications from that one group chat that never stops pinging. 

The feature is, in simple terms, an improved version of the existing “Archived Chats” function that lets you hide conversations without deleting their contents. Read Later does the same thing, muting conversations in the process, but with one key difference.

WhatsApp Read Later beta

(Image credit: WABetaInfo)

Archived conversations are hidden at the bottom of your chat list, and easy to forget that they're even there. Judging from the screenshots obtained by WABetaInfo Read Later is kept above all your chats, so there’s no chance of forgetting to check them when the time is right.

Likewise being displayed so prominently meant you’re not going to accidentally hide a group or chat without realising where it’s been hidden. Because at the moment it’s not currently obvious where your archived conversations have gone.

WhatsApp Read Later beta

(Image credit: WABetaInfo)

In any case, even if functionality remains almost the same, a rebrand was certainly in order. After all “Read Later” is very self-explanatory and potentially useful to a lot of people. The same can’t really be said for archiving, which comes across as a more permanent change with limited use cases.

Read Later is currently available in version 2.21.2.2 of the WhatsApp beta on Android, and given the simplicity of the update we assume it will be rolling out to the stable version of the app sometime in the near future. Those of you who are too impatient are unfortunately out of luck, since WhatsApp’s Android beta testing program is currently full.

Tom Pritchard

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.