Nine major changes WhatsApp is making that you need to know about

WhatsApp is making some big changes to the app, according to a portal which tracks its developments. 

When WhatsApp tests new features, it uses a special beta version of the app, and those at WABetaInfo mine for this information, giving us a sneak peek at upcoming updates. 

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There are nine changes in development, with some available on your device right now. 

Others may take weeks or months to come, or even be scrapped altogether. 

What are the new changes?

There are nine features to keep an eye out for: 

The ability to filter unread chats

On the beta app, WhatsApp tested out a filter to go through unread chats. 

According to WABetaInfo, a new filter button will be placed next to a search bar. When you use the unread chat filter, WhatsApp will list all your unread chats - making it easier to manage them. 

WhatsApp message reactions on Windows (available now)

This new feature allows you to react to WhatsApp messages, with six emojis: like, love, laugh, surprised, sad and thanks. 

You can see who reacted to a message by tapping the reaction icon at the bottom of the chat bubble. 

Whatsapp is working on several big changes to the app, with some features already available(Photo by DENIS CHARLET/AFP via Getty Images)

Reacting to messages using any emoji

In a recent update, WhatsApp added the feature to react to a message with a selection of emojis.

But now, WABetaInfo has suggested Whatsapp will develop a draggable section to easily select any emoji you want when reacting to a message. 

However, this update is under development, and the release date is not known. 

Business profiles getting cover photos

For some profiles, WhatsApp may add a feature allowing a new banner to show up at the top of your chat list. 

The feature is available for business profiles and will be rolled out to users soon. 

Message and mute people on WhatsApp calls (available now)

Will Cathcart, the head of WhatsApp, tweeted on 16 June 2022, that on a call, you can now mute or message specific people. 

This is especially handy for group calls, or if the person forgets to mute themself! 

Migrating chats from Android phones to iPhone (available in beta)

You will soon be able to move your chat history from Android to iOS with the latest feature of WhatsApp. 

However, you will need to have at least an Android 5 and an iOS15.5 software. 

A group membership approval system

With the new expansion of groups - with 512 people now allowed in one group, group admins may soon be able to manage their groups better. 

When group admins enable the feature of 'group membership approval' anyone who wants to join the group must have a group invite link which needs to be manually approved by a group admin. 

Automatic media albums for Windows

In automatic albums, multiple consecutive images or videos shared in a chat are automatically grouped into a single album. 

When users receive more than 3 photos or videos consecutively, they can tap the automatic album to view its full collection.

The ability to pause and resume voice notes (available in beta)

Users of the app could soon pause a voicenote they're recording, and resume it rather than re-record it. 

Previously, you could only listen to the voice note before sending it and would have to re-record the whole message to continue with the voice note. 

How to join WhatsApp beta

To download WhatsApp beta for your smartphone, go onto Google Play on your Android and search for WhatsApp.

Scroll down the page until you see "Become a Beta Tester".

Tap the "I'm In" button and then click "Join" to confirm.

Now all you have to do is wait for the update to the beta version of the app.