Facebook Planning Major WhatsApp Changes

A recent announcement revealed some big plans on the cards for Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp, some which users will no doubt be pleased about, and others, not so much.

New Group Privacy Settings

First announced in April of this year, new group privacy settings will be rolling out to other countries in the near future, allowing users to have more control over which group messages they receive.

Using a new settings menu for groups, users will be able to specify who is allowed to add them to groups, with options ranging from “Nobody” in which all group invitations have to be manually approved, to “Contacts” where people in your contacts list can add you to groups, and “Everybody.”


Starting in 2020, Facebook will start showing ads on the WhatsApp status page, as it already does on its Instagram platform. Facebook will also implement “business catalogues” in WhatsApp, so that “businesses can showcase their goods so people can easily find them.”

New Themes

The Android WhatsApp will also be getting a “dark mode,” and new themes will include a “dark theme” a “light theme” and auto-detection of your system’s default theme setting, so the app will automatically match.

Disappearing Messages

Finally, WhatsApp is working on introducing “disappearing messages” which when turned on, will cause all messages in a chat to disappear after a pre-determined time elapses.

The beta version allows messages to be deleted after either 5 seconds, or 1 hour, but it’s likely that the full release will allow custom time settings.