WhatsApp is working on a new feature that will reportedly recommend contacts you can reach out to. The feature is a list dubbed Recently Online which shows the names of contacts who were recently logged into the app. The report speculates that the purpose of the feature is to help users determine people who are more likely to respond if texted or called. However, it will not show the currently online people, and instead only give an approximate understanding of those who have used the app recently.

According to a report by WhatsApp update tracker WABetaInfo, the instant messaging platform is testing a new feature that was spotted in the WhatsApp beta for iOS update via the TestFlight app. The report also highlighted that some beta testers might have access to the new feature, although it is not rolled out widely in the beta app. Interestingly, the same feature was also introduced in the WhatsApp beta for Android build, highlighting that both of the platforms could soon get this feature in their respective apps.

WhatsApp’s Recently Online list
Photo Credit: WABetaInfo

Based on the screenshot shared by the publication, the Recently Online list only appears on the new chat and new call screen where the user selects the contact to write a text or make a call. Here, underneath the basic menu options, a new section highlighting the contacts that were recently online will be shown. It is unclear what exactly constitutes “recently online”, and what is the time limit after which a name is removed from the list.

The feature will, however, not show the list of people who are online currently, or the time when they were last online, as per the report. This is likely done to protect the privacy of the users. Further, those users who have set their Last seen to nobody will not appear on this list. It is unclear whether they will be able to see the Recently Online list or not.

This feature is currently in beta, but the report claims that it is likely to be rolled out to users globally in the coming weeks.

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