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(Pocket-lint) - WhatsApp has become the go-to messaging service for many, offering simple cross-platform chat for over a billion people worldwide. Groups are an essential part of the service and the reason many users turn to it and now WhatsApp has introduced some changes that are rolling out now.

It's not just friends that use groups to plan nights out at the weekend but communities use them to keep everyone in the loop and students can set up study groups. WhatsApp now lets the group admin write a short description of the group, setting the guidelines and purpose in the process. When a new person joins or is added to the group, the description appears at the top of their chat window.

We've all been away from our phone, either leaving it somewhere in the house or not having signal and then come back to it to find a whole string of messages that we've missed. To save rifling through all of them to find the relevant ones, WhatsApp has introduced a new @ button in the bottom right corner which instantly shows you any replies to messages you've sent, or any specific mentions. 

Group admins can now have greater control over the chat by restricting who else in the chat is able to change the group icon, subject and description, as well as being able to remove admin privileges of anyone else that no longer needs (or deserves) them. Also new is a feature that prevents users from being re-added to groups they've left. 

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The updates are available for both Android and iOS versions of WhatsApp and are rolling out now, so be sure to check for an update in the Play or App Store. 

Writing by Max Langridge. Originally published on 16 May 2018.