Like many other messaging apps, WhatsApps includes the ability to archive chats that you no longer need to be in the foreground. Changes are long overdue for the feature and there have already been some name changes and feature testing.
Late last year, we saw references to a new vacation mode option for the archived chats feature. which involved a way to block notifications for chats for a short time. This option was later renamed to Read Later, but there are now signs of further changes and development.
The latest beta of WhatsApp for iOS shows that this feature has reverted to its original name from archived chats. In addition to the name change, WABetaInfo also spotted other changes in how the feature works.
WhatsApp is preparing an update that brings a new experience to your archive: when you receive a message from archived chats, they will no longer be unarchived, which is optional and will be available in a future update for iOS and Android. 50.11: https://t.co/ULD64epEoY pic.twitter.com/5tziOefkb5March 5, 2021
One of the changes is the arrival of a counter. This is a simple tool that serves as a visual indicator of how many threads you’ve archived have received new replies.
Dive into the archives
In another change, when archived threads receive additional responses, they will no longer be automatically unarchived as was the case in previous implementations of the feature.
It’s good to see that users have more control over how archived chats work. While for some people it makes perfect sense to use receiving a new chat reply to automatically unarchive it, for others archiving is likely to be seen as a permanent choice.
At the moment, the name change and new features appear in the iOS version of WhatsApp. It would be surprising though, if they didn’t also get access to the Android app, or even the desktop edition of WhatsApp.