WhatsApp Developing 'Read Later' Feature To Replace Archived Chats

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WhatsApp has begun working on an update to bring a ‘read later’ feature to the platform. As reported by Wabetainfo this feature will replace the archived chats system previously in place on the app.

The news of a new feature update comes at quite an opportune moment for WhatsApp. This is due to a swarm of negative press the company has received following its privacy update in recent weeks.

This update requires users to share their data with Facebook in order to access the app. WhatsApp did respond to the issue claiming that users’ privacy would not be affected by the change.


However, this did not convince many users with a large number switching to alternative apps such as Telegram. The app which prides itself on security and privacy saw large increases in downloads in the last few days following the press storm surrounding WhatsApp.

It appears this feature will not revolutionise WhatsApp or really bring much new functionality to the platform. Instead, this seems to be a cleaner way to replace the archived chats system previously in place as reported by Pocket Now.

WhatsApp working on ‘read later’ feature

As things stand this feature seems to be set to replace the archived chats feature on the app. This means users can move a chat to this section and no longer receive notifications from it but still be able to access the chat.

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This is designed to reduce clutter and allow users to organise their chats a bit easier. The Android beta v2.21.2.2 has instances of the Read Later feature which is situated at the top of your chats list. WhatsApp for iOS beta v2.20.130.16 also mentions the feature.

If you tap on it you will receive an introductory message. This reads “to reduce interruptions, chats with new messages stay here and you won’t get any notifications”.

This feature is currently under development with the expectation that it will roll out fully in a later update. Initially, we can expect the beta to roll out to more users for testing then to everyone after that.


As is normally the case with these things we will not know quite when this feature will fully roll out. These things can take a while depending on complexity and the success of the rollout. Given this seems to be broadly a replacement of the archive feature, perhaps this one will not take that long to release but only time will tell.