The new feature is called Send Messages, and lets you shut people out from your group convo.
As long as you’re a group admin, you can limit the conversation to only other group admins.
That means normal participants will still be able to read messages in the group – but won’t be able to share their own messages.
If you want someone to be able to speak, simply upgrade them to group admin status.
It might seem like a minor change, but it’s great news for anyone regularly using group chats.
Group chats are often created to share info with lots of people fast quickly – like wedding details, or work plans.
But when you’ve got loads of people in a group convo, they can easily spiral into a notification-spawning hell.
Worse still, large group chats often go off-topic, which can be frustrating for people who don’t care for idle chatter.
With the new WhatsApp update, you’ll be able to very easily keep conversations on topic – simply by limiting the active participants.
You could also close the group at night to prevent midnight message spam.
And if you’re sending an important message, it will mean it stays on the page for longer – rather than being bumped off screen immediately.
How to activate Send Messages restrictions on WhatsApp
The new feature is rolling out from today.
It’ll be available on your iPhone, Android phone or Windows Phone, although you may have to wait a few days for the update to appear.
On iPhone, you’re looking for WhatsApp version 2.18.70, while Android users should keep an eye out for WhatsApp version 2.18.201.
To make the change, simply go into the Group Info settings for your conversation.
Then hit the Send Messages tab, and choose Only Admins, rather than All Participants.
Once you’ve done that, a message will appear in the group chat that reads: “You changed this group’s settings to allow only admins to send messages to this group.”