is hard at work on a new feature that will purportedly shake-up how group conversations work within the app.

Dubbed Restricted Groups, the new feature is tipped to bestow a lot more power on the administrator in a group chat.

These users will be able to silence and ban other members.

According to the rumours, admin users will be able to restrict other users from contributing to a group chat.

As a result, only the group admin will be allowed to send any messages to the chat.

Everyone else will only be able to read them.

In fact, their only recourse to get a word in is to use the Message Admin button.

The Restricted Groups feature can be enabled by anyone with administrator privileges within a group chat.

The setting can be changed every 72 hours, which means group members can be silenced for a few days at a time.

The new feature has surfaced in a beta build for the chat app.

WABetaInfo, which tracks the latest changes in WhatsApp beta software, unearthed the new functionality.

The feature is currently supported by the latest iOS and Android beta, but WhatsApp has disabled the feature on its servers.

At the moment, WhatsApp group chat administrators only have the ability to add new participants to a group.

Everyone is able to contribute to the conversation without fear of any restrictions.

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