WhatsApp could soon get a new profile feature it should have had for years

The WhatsApp bootscreen
(Image credit: WhatsApp)

WhatsApp is testing a feature that it should probably have had for some time, and it's one that other messaging apps and services like iMessage already sport. According to a new report, WhatsApp is testing adding profile photos to group chat messages — a change that will make it easier for people to see who sent a message at a glance.

In its current form, WhatsApp only displays the message and the person who sent it's name. With this change in place, a profile picture would also be used.

Better late than never

WhatsApp beta screenshot

(Image credit: WABetaInfo)

The update, which is not yet available to beta testers, was first reported by WhatsApp watchers WABetaInfo and would make a big difference for those who are in busy group chats and what to more quickly identify a message's sender.

"WhatsApp plans to introduce something that has been requested for a long time: profile photos of group participants," the report says, before going on to say that "profile photos of other group participants will show up next to all incoming messages within the group chat."

While WABetaInfo reports that the new feature is now in development, it could be some time before it's made available to users. It still needs to go through the beta testing process and then make its way into the version of WhatsApp that the rest of us download via the App Store. Let's hope it's a speedy process, with this being one feature many will welcome with open arms.

WhatsApp has long been one of the best iPhone apps for people who need to communicate with Android users, meaning iMessage isn't an option. That means that they lose out on features like the one WhatsApp is thought to be working on, however.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.