Since most of the group chats have dozens of participants, it becomes difficult and extremely annoying to be tagged up with the whole conversation especially when they are all talking about something you are not interested in.
If you mute the conversation, then there is a fear of missing out on some news or some relevant information spilled by someone in the group. So now, WhatsApp has put in efforts so that the users can now exactly redirect their attention to someone specific in a group chat with the newly introduced Mentions feature.
Mentions Feature to Gather Someone’s Attention – Boon or Bane?
The new Mentions feature in the instant messaging app for group chats could come as a blessing or might be a curse too for some users. The good thing about the new feature is that the users can now single out another user and directly address them in a group chat. This is a convenient way to know if someone is talking specifically to you in the conversation. Even if you have the put the group in mute, you will be notified if your name has been mentioned in the group chat. The same advantage can sometimes turn into a disaster when that annoying friend of yours in the group keeps mentioning you all the time in the conversation, even if you have the group conversation on mute. Unfortunately, you will be forced to respond back.
The new Mentions feature works just like how the people are tagged on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, by using the “@” sign. Once the “@” symbol is typed in the group conversation, the app will automatically give a drop-down list of all the group member’s names. The contact can be selected and will be hyperlinked in the chat box so whatever you write now will be directed to that user. You can even tag and mention multiple users. The Mention feature can also be used to tag people in the group whose number is not saved in your address book.
The Mentions Feature was first rumored to be out in June. The new feature is out for Android and iOS users. It is available for devices running on WhatsApp Android version 2.16.259 and newer. The new update should probably be enabled from the company’s server-side since no new update has been received in the past few days. It was first available for beta users; however, it has been enabled for the general public too. For iOS, it is available for users who are running the app version 2.16.10 and above.
WhatsApp has introduced other new features that include Bots to avoid spamming of messages and for better communication between users and businesses, the addition of GIFs, Two-Factor-Authentication for extra security, Video calls, and Quoting and Replying messages. The GIFs are available only for the iOS users currently. Though the video calls and Bots are not out yet, they should be rolling out sometime very soon.