WhatsApp tests new group chat icons: WhatsApp, originally a messaging platform for individuals, has rapidly evolved into a prominent encrypted messaging app with group chat capabilities.
In recent times, the influence of rival apps like Telegram, which prioritize group chats, has prompted WhatsApp to introduce various changes.
As part of an ongoing experiment, the Meta-owned chat app is now exploring a fresh approach to showcasing participant avatars in group chats, particularly when they don’t have a profile picture uploaded.
However, with the advent of larger smartphone screens, WhatsApp initiated a test in August 2022 to introduce profile pictures in group chats, which was temporarily halted. The testing has now resumed, with the avatar for individuals without profile pictures being replaced by their initials against a colorful background.
WhatsApp tests new group chat icons
According to WABetaInfo, a popular WhatsApp beta feature tracker, the latest beta version 220.127.116.11 of the Android app features this change, ensuring that the color-initial combination associated with each participant remains unchanged.
This subtle modification aims to enhance the user experience by making it easier to identify the sender based on the initials and associated color, especially for users with color blindness or visual impairments.
Furthermore, displaying initials instead of generic avatars may eventually eliminate the need to show phone numbers or names above each received message in a group conversation, a feature retained throughout the testing phase.
It remains to be seen how WhatsApp will handle cases where the account name begins with special characters, although this is a relatively uncommon scenario. Nonetheless, these changes reflect the positive direction in which WhatsApp is heading.
The final avatar display design chosen by WhatsApp is yet to be revealed, so expect further updates as the experimentation progresses.