WhatsApp ‘wrongly’ enables brand-new reply feature, here’s how it works

is testing a new reply feature for its popular chat app.

The feature has appeared – and subsequently dropped – from the beta version of the app.

This has lead one prominent WhatsApp beta watcher, known via the online moniker @WABetaInfo, to conclude the feature was mistakenly activated.

Dubbed Reply Privately, the new feature will enable users to reply to a message in a group chat – without anybody except the person you’re messaging being able to see what you’ve said.

It’s a nifty idea – and should prove especially useful in groups where you’re not familiar with all of the participants.

According to WABetaInfo, which tracks the latest WhatsApp features while they’re still in beta, the Reply Privately option will only be available in group chats.

The new feature appeared in one of the latest Windows Phone beta releases.

WABetaInfo tweeted: “In the new WhatsApp beta for Windows Phone 2.17.344 the private reply feature is disabled. Probably WhatsApp has wrongly enabled it in 2.17.342.”

Five days later, WABetaInfo claimed the feature had been re-enabled in a subsequent beta version of the chat app.

It’s clear WhatsApp is currently trialling the feature, although when the functionality will be finished is not known.

The feature will be included in the small menu that pops-up when users press and hold on a message.

Reply Privately will include the initial message embedded within the reply.

This is already present in the Reply feature, which is available on iOS, Android and Desktop at the moment.

However, the feature does not currently enable users to reply to something privately from a communal group.

WhatsApp has a number of unreleased features under its built for future releases of its popular app.

at the ability to play YouTube videos within WhatsApp itself, with users able to continue watching the clip while navigating around the messenger.

WhatsApp appears to be leveraging the picture-in-picture functionality Apple first introduced in iOS 9.

According to WABetaInfo, which has an impressive track record when it comes to sniffing out upcoming features, unearthed the code.

The code was introduced in WhatsApp version 2.17.40.

According to WABetaInfo, users can pinch on the video to expand it within a chat window, or open the YouTube video fullscreen.

The picture-in-picture can also be moved around the app, to avoid it blocking the text beneath.

Apple introduced the ability to play YouTube videos inside their thumbnail previews in iOS 10.

It’s unclear when WhatsApp will flick the switch and bring its own version of the functionality to the chat app.

WABetaInfo says “this is not a feature that will be remotely enabled” and that instead “it will be enabled with a new WhatsApp update on the AppStore when the feature will be ready”.