WhatsApp maybe working on a new ‘Reply Privately’ feature so users can privately send messages to members of a group without letting others know about it. The ‘Reply Privately’ feature will apparently allow users to directly communicate with members of a group chat within the group chat without having to leave the group chat. This means that users can continue to chat individually with members of a group and simultaneously keep track of the ongoing discussion within the group. It isn’t exactly clear whether WhatsApp’s ‘Reply Privately’ feature will allow users to chat individually with anyone and everyone in the group or just members you’ve added on your phone though.
Before you go about looking for an update to your WhatsApp app that would enable the feature, you must know, the ‘Reply Privately’ feature isn’t live on WhatsApp yet. The instant messaging service is apparently still working on it, but, accidentally pushed it out in a beta update for the Windows Phone. First reported by @WABetaInfo, the ‘Reply Privately’ feature will apparently be only available in group chats and will be accessible through the small menu that pops-up when users press and hold on a message.
“In the new WhatsApp beta for Windows Phone 2.17.344 the private reply feature is disabled. Probably WhatsApp has wrongly enabled it in 2.17.342,” WABetaInfo said. The feature was again implemented in the v2.17.348 beta update, WABetaInfo added.
Because the feature was part of a beta update, understandably, it had some bugs. Hopefully, WhatsApp will be able to correct them all before pushing it out to end-users.
Having said that, it’s also possible that WhatsApp may decide not to roll out the ‘Reply Privately’ feature since not all features in testing phase actually make it to the final release. But, should the feature be made available for general public, it would be a big boon for users especially for those who’re part of multiple chat groups.
WABetaInfo has been leaking such WhatsApp-specific details for some time now. Only recently it had reported that WhatsApp is also secretly working on a an unblock and a picture-in-picture (PIP) mode for WhatsApp for web.