WhatsApp introduces huge changes to how group chats work

8 April 2019, 12:30 | Updated: 8 April 2019, 12:54

Overwhelming notifications could soon be a thing of the past
Overwhelming notifications could soon be a thing of the past. Picture: Getty

By Emma Gritt

If you're one of the people who dreads seeing 50 unread messages in the group chat, your prayers have been answered...

Ah, WhatsApp - how did we keep up with our mates' gossip, swap memes and plan our social lives without it?

But if you dread being added to a group chat more than you fear being 'blue ticked', you're in luck.

You can now make it so that you have to AGREE to be roped in to a 40-way natter about Love Island; be thrown in the middle to catty back-and-forths about a hen-do you desperately want to avoid; and put the brakes on being forced to give a detailed breakdown of how you and your brother are getting to your aunt's birthday in three months' time (thanks mum).

The new update isn't automatic, so you will need to go in to settings to physically opt out of being opted in.

Read more: How individual replies will revolutionise how you do group chats

Here's how:

1. Open Whatsapp

2. Go into Settings in the app

3. Click on Account, then Privacy, then Groups

4. Select one of three options: 'Nobody', 'My Contacts', or 'Everyone'

Selecting Nobody means you'll have to approve joining every group to which you're invited,

Selecting Everyone means you won't have to approve any groups you're added to

Selecting My Contacts means only users you have in your address book can add you to groups without prior consent

If you decide to start being picky about how many group chats you're in - and how much battery life you waste on them - you will be alerted that someone wants to add you to a group with a private invite sent directly to you like a message.

You then have three days to decide to join in or not/ask your mates who are less precious about their chat time if it's worth taking the plunge.