WhatsApp has started rolling out the ‘Send Messages’ feature for group admins to restrict members from sending messages to the group. The feature, which is now available on both Android and iOS has been in the works for a long time, with the company believed to be working on this for months.

The feature is being rolled out gradually to all Android and iOS users. Do note that it is a server-side change, which means even people using older versions of the app may be able to access the feature without any issue.

Send Messages setting on iOS app
Send Messages setting on iOS app

It can be accessed by going over to Group Info > Group Settings > Send Messages, where Admins will find two options – ‘Only Admins’ and ‘All Participants’. As is evident, selecting the first option will restrict all members from sending messages to the group, while selecting the second option, which will be enabled by default, will allow all members to send messages to the group.

In case an admin does choose to mute other members, all participants in the group will be notified about the developments through messages. Admins, however, will be able to revert to the default setting at any point.

Send Messages setting on Android
What happens after you block members from sending messages

While the addition of the new option is definitely a welcome step, the all-or-nothing approach is something that many group admins won’t appreciate. It will be interesting to see if WhatsApp will enable Admins to mute particular participants by tweaking this current one-size-fits-all policy.

That level of granular control for admins will not only help reduce spam messages that perpetrate many WhatsApp groups, but also tackle the issue of viral hoax messages that are resulting in the public lynchings of innocent victims in India.

If the feature is not enabled for you just yet, it’s best to wait a few days to test it out as it may be rolled out in the next beta update to all users.

Images courtesy WABetaInfo

Correction: An earlier version of this article had erroneous screenshots along with the text.