WhatsApp has been working hard in recent months to catch up with competitor messaging services, particularly when it comes to group chats. Meta’s most popular messaging service now includes polls, moderation tools, and a list of previous participants for group chats. Communities were also made available to beta testers this week. We’re now learning about another future enhancement in a similar vein: profile images for group conversations.
Platforms like Telegram, Skype, and Slack already display everyone’s profile image alongside their messages; plainly, WhatsApp needs to catch up. According to WABetaInfo, based on evidence in the current 18.104.22.168 release, WhatsApp group chats may add participant profile images next to their messages in a future version. With this feature, it would be easier to see who sent an email at a glance. Profile, pictures could also be used as quick visual identifiers in larger companies where you might not know everyone’s first name.
The design is visually similar to profile images displayed in Messenger chats. Please keep in mind that your profile photo will only be available for incoming messages, and you will not see your own when you add to the conversation. We haven’t noticed any mention of the change in one-on-one conversations.
We expect to get a better look at how this all works once it’s available in beta, but it appears unlikely that WhatsApp will provide a means to block this display. Hopefully, you don’t have many connections who seem to like changing their display photo every day (don’t we all know at least one such person?). If you’re used to checking sender names, perhaps the addition of profile images will only make the chat more lively.