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WhatsApp’s new Chat Filters will help you make sense of your inbox

Published Apr 17th, 2024 6:50AM EDT
The new Chat Filters feature in WhatsApp.
Image: Meta

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Navigating any instant messenger app can be a huge pain. It’s not just one-to-one chats that pile up each day on different platforms. It’s also groups and communities that we’re part of. And you can’t really leave your family and work groups with ease.

As the world’s most popular chat app, WhatsApp plays a major role in all of that. Personal chats, various groups, and even customer support chats await inside WhatsApp. This could make it harder to find the conversations you’re actually interested in having.

Thankfully, Meta is fixing all that with the help of a new Chat Filter feature that’s rolling out to iPhone and Android users. You’ll soon see the filters at the top of the app, and you’ll be able to access your main conversations easily.

The Chat Filters feature will feel familiar to anyone using a similar approach to navigate their emails. Initially, you’ll see three tabs at the top of the WhatsApp inbox, as shown in the image above. That’s “All,” “Unread,” and “Groups. Here’s how Meta describes them:

All: The default view of all your messages.

Unread: Perfect for when you want to see which conversations you need to catch up on or respond to. It shows messages that are either marked by you as unread or haven’t been opened yet, so you can prioritize your responses.

Groups: Now all your group chats will be organized in one place, making it easier to find your favorites,whether it’s your weekly family dinner discussion or planning your next vacation. This highly requested feature will also show subgroups of Communities.

As you can see, WhatsApp Communities will also appear as subgroups in the Groups section.

That’s a great way to start sorting messages in WhatsApp and making sense of your conversations. Separating groups from regular conversations might be the best feature of this new Chat Filters feature.

I’d also want to see another filter in there, one that excludes all group chats. That way, I’d only go into the Groups filter whenever I need to catch up on a specific discussion or get updates from a chat involving multiple people.

Meta does say in its announcement that it’s starting with these three filters. Maybe more Chat Filters will be available down the road.

Meanwhile, you might have to wait until Chat Filters rolls out to your region. Meta says the filters started rolling out on Tuesday, but they’ll be available to everyone in the coming weeks.

This implies that both the iPhone and Android apps will get Chat Filters. I’d also expect to see Chat Filters on linked devices in the future. After all, Meta is trying to offer a uniform chat experience regardless of platform.

You might want to update WhatsApp in the coming days and weeks to ensure the Chat Filters feature is available, in case you don’t already update the app frequently.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.