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WhatsApp group chats soon won’t look like forum discussions

Even forums show you contributor profile pictures

In the last few months, WhatsApp has been doing a lot of work to catch up to rival messaging services, especially when it comes to group chats. Meta’s most popular messaging service has a polling feature, moderation optionsand a list of past members for group chats in the pipeline. this week, Communities also began rolling out to beta testers. Now we’re learning about another upcoming improvement in the same vein: profile pictures for group chats.

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Platforms like Telegram, Skype, and Slack already show every person’s profile picture alongside their messages — clearly, it’s time for WhatsApp to play catch-up. Based on evidence in the new 22.18.0.72 release, WABetaInfo reports that WhatsApp group chats could include participant profile pictures next to their messages with a future update. The feature would help identify senders at a glance, and profile pictures could also serve as simple visual identifiers in larger groups where you don’t know all the participants on a first-name basis.

Visually, the design reminds us of profile pictures displayed in Messenger chats. Note that the profile picture will only be visible for incoming messages, and you won’t see your own when you contribute to the conversation. We haven’t seen any information about the change making its way to one-on-one chats.

Once it rolls out in a useable form in beta, we hope to get a closer look at just how this will all work, but it seems likely WhatsApp won’t offer any way to disable this view. Hopefully you don’t have a lot of contacts who seem to relish changing their display picture every day (we all know at least one such person, don’t we?) If you’re habituated to checking sender names, perhaps the inclusion of profile pictures will just make the chat more vibrant — win-win for everyone.

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