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WhatsApp tests function to show recently online contacts

WhatsApp is testing a menu to show contacts who have been online recently. The function has been released to some users of the app’s beta program. In the screenshot of the feature, the recently online users section appears in the contact list for group creation.

For those who are older, this division of online and offline contacts can resemble the MSN Messenger contact list. Microsoft’s much-missed chat program separated users based on their statuses: online, offline, away, and busy (the latter two if memory isn’t failing).

This feature, spotted in version of WhatsApp Beta for Android, seems to be related to other possible new features of the app. Last week, the app began testing with a conversation suggestion menu. This menu also shows whether the user was online.

These are some of the functions of WhatsApp Beta that show Meta, owner of the app, taking steps to make it more of a social network and less of a messaging app. Although there are disagreements about whether or not WhatsApp is a social network, it has few elements typical of these platforms, such as suggestions for new contacts, accessible profiles and the option to tag friends, for example.

The function of listing contacts online recently can be useful. One of the practicalities that this feature can deliver is to help you remember to send a message. You know when you’re away from your cell phone and you think “I have to talk to so-and-so later”, but you end up forgetting? It can be useful in such situations.

And of course, another idea of Meta with this tool is the same as the function of suggesting contacts: to increase the time of use of WhatsApp. After all, you might see a friend who hasn’t talked in a while online and decide to strike up a conversation. For Zuckerberg, time is money — including the minutes or hours you spend chatting with old friends.

Business use
Businesses will also benefit from this list of online contacts if it comes to WhatsApp Business. A salesperson can be more assertive when prospecting a customer, going directly to those who are or have been on the app recently.

Fortunately, if you don’t clear the visa view recently and online, you can rest assured. You won’t appear in the list of contacts who are using the app.

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