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.
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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.
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.
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 18.104.22.168 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.