WhatsApp keeps moving to its own beat, as usual. Gripers may gripe about how slow the app is to add features that other IM apps included ages ago (I choose you, Telegram!). But the truth is the developers have little to worry about given WhatsApp’s gigantic market share.
The latest feature comes with version 2.16.259, adding the option to ping other users within a group chat. This means that even if you’ve muted the chat, you’ll get a notification if you get pinged.
The feature is easy to use. Just type an @ in the text window followed by the name of the person you want to ping. The auto-complete system will show you a tab with all the matching group members. Then tap the person’s name to ping them. (Obviously all the other group members can still read the message.)
After adding the option to created animated GIFS (albeit in their own very special way), WhatsApp continues to include new features bit by bit while working on medium-term changes like the inclusion of advertising and its use by big brands.
In the meantime, you still have a few more days to decide whether you want to let the app share your data with Facebook.