Messenger giant WhatsApp is reportedly working on a new feature. This new feature will replace an old one. After the last privacy policy and terms update, this is one major announcement coming from WhatsApp. What is WhatsApp’s new ‘Read Later’ feature? When is it coming? Read below to find all that we know yet.

At the beginning of the first month of January 2021, WhatsApp rolled out a big update for its privacy policy and terms. It caused a racket in the online world and affected the digital marketing systems of many businesses. As a result, many users left WhatsApp and switched to other messengers. Since then it’s been trying to recover the lost users while trying to keep those who are still using the app.

WhatsApp: 'Read Later' Feature

According to WhatsApp, the updated privacy policy and terms are being misinterpreted. Moreover, it has extended the date to review the update. Earlier, it was 8th February and now it’s been extended to May 15th.

And now, there is this new ‘Read Later’ feature. After suffering a considerable loss, this may be a damage control move. However, it’s been under development for quite some time but WABetaInfo has released a new update recently on 12th January.

What is the ‘Read Later’ feature?

WABetaInfo is an independent web portal dedicated to WhatsApp news and updates. According to it, WhatsApp has been planning on a new feature- “Read Later”.

With this feature, you will be able to categorize your chats in a single section named “Read Later”. As the name suggests, this feature is for categorizing the chats you want to read later. This way, you can focus on the more important conversations. It will further pave way for interruptions free and smooth communication experience.

When the feature update is launched, users will find this cell at the top of their chat list labeled as “Read Later”. To reach that section, you will simply have to click on that banner. When empty, it will read as follows:

To reduce interruptions, chats with new messages stay here and you won’t get any notifications.

As the text reads, the chats that you shift in this section will stay here and you won’t be getting any notifications if there are new messages. This way, it will reduce interruptions.

Which old feature is it going to replace?

The “Read Later” feature will replace an old feature called “Archive”.

So, how are both of the features different?

The “Archive” feature allows you to hide conversations (both individual and group) to better organize your chat list. This way, you could keep aside those conversations that are not in use. Hence, you will be able to declutter your chat list.

However, the archived chats reappear in the main chat list as soon as there is a new message. And since people mostly use the “Archive” feature to hide unwanted and unimportant conversations, this feature left some loose ends. Moreover, you have to put the unarchived chats back in the “Archive” section manually once they reappear in your main chat list.

Therefore, WhatsApp is planning on introducing the “Read Later” feature soon. Let’s talk about how this feature is different from that mentioned above.

With this feature, you can shift your chats in the “Read Later” cell. Just like the “Archive” feature, this is for both individual and group chats. However, unlike “Archive”, the chats shifted to “Read Later” will stay there even if there are new messages and until you manually shift them back to the main chat list.

When will the Read Later feature go live?

The feature is currently out for some beta testers. However, there’s been no confirmation as to when the feature will be available to all users. According to WABetaInfo, this feature will be released soon with future WhatsApp updates.

WABetaInfo posted the latest update about this feature on 12th January. However, the “Read Later” feature has been under development since the last year.

WhatsApp first time took it to WABetaInfo in November 2020 to announce this upcoming feature. However, we can expect it to go live soon as the recent update article’s first line read as follows:

WhatsApp has just submitted a new update through the Google Play Beta Program, bringing the version up to

This means WhatsApp users may soon be getting this new feature with future updates.

What if you don’t want this feature?

If you feel like you don’t want this feature. Or if you want to downgrade back to the “Archive” feature, you can easily do that when the feature is available in the future.

All you’d have to do is go to the WhatsApp Chat Settings. From there, navigate to Read later settings. There you will find a switch labeled:

Move new messages

Chats with new messages move back to main chats list.

Upon turning this switch on, you will be able to downgrade your WhatsApp to old functionality.

Final Word

After its privacy policy update, this social media app is in talks again for a different reason. The app is rolling out a new “Read Later” feature soon. Moreover, for those who may not like the new feature update, WhatsApp is also going to provide a downgrading option. Through this, you will be able to restore old functionality. However, the feature is still under development and testing phase so there is no confirmation as to when the feature will go live. But users can expect it to be out soon.

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Somya Sharma : Regardless of being a Delhi University graduate with a major in English Literature, Somya's interests are not limited to poetry and drama. As a person who loves researching, discussing and writing about topics rooted in various disciplines, the list of subjects that tickle her fancy is ever-growing. She finds the power of psychology in marketing particularly intriguing and has set out writing blogs with the aim of helping budding marketers polish-up.