In a world of iMessage apps, Telegram, and Slack, WhatsApp is kind of a curious case. It is the one app everyone uses with the knowledge that it can be so much better. In an effort to enhance WhatsApp group chats, Facebook has added the ability to tag other participants in select messages. In doing this, those users will get your notifications about that message regardless if the group chat has been muted or not.
If you are anything like me, you probably mute or leave any and all group chats you are invited to, within minutes. Some people, however, would rather just mute a group chat. Others would pretend that they have been too busy to go through the hordes of messages waiting for them. Now, you run the risk of looking like a douchebag for ignoring those tagged messages.
The WhatsApp group chats tagging “feature” is nothing new to anyone who already frequents Twitter and Instagram. By typing an “@“ symbol in front of a name, users will be able to tag others and alert them.
The advantage of this system is clear: pick out a person and send them a priority message within a group chat. This can be a good thing if you are in massive community groups and desperately need to communicate with a certain person. But to that, I ask: why not just talk privately? Then again, when having a heated debate, you might want to single out a specific person or two. Maybe, even then, you might just want to tag someone in a very important community broadcast. Truth be told, the advantages are fair and I can see it being used as such.
WhatsApp is slowly integrating features into its Android and iOS clients that rival messaging apps have had for a while. It recently got the ability to format text and share PDFs and other files from Google Docs and Microsoft OneDrive. WhatsApp is also one of a few messaging apps that support 100%, end-to-end encryptions on all chats for enhanced user privacy.