WhatsApp is testing displaying profile photos in notifications

WhatsApp notifications may soon display profile images of both senders and recipients alongside the text, according to a new test conducted by the app’s owner Meta.

An illustration with a WhatsApp logo in white set against a green background


  • A new WhatsApp feature lets you display contacts’ profile photos in notifications
  • Presumably, privacy controls would let you choose whether to allow this
  • The feature is currently in testing and may not launch publicly at all

Enabling profile images in WhatsApp notifications

The unreleased feature was spotted in the WhatsApp beta for iOS version by WABetaInfo, a website solely focused on finding unreleased features in popular apps. The publication didn’t specify whether the new test includes new privacy controls to cherry-pick the information that gets displayed in WhatsApp notifications for new messages.

Many popular messaging apps already allow the user to optionally see contacts’ profile images in notifications. WhatsApp has been lagging behind in that regard and is now playing catch-up. Given the popularity of profile images in messaging notifications, we’re convinced this feature will soon be released more broadly.

It’s unclear when (and if, for that matter) WhatsApp might roll out profile photos in notifications to everyone. Right now, the feature is being tested with people who have signed up for WhatsApp Beta on TestFlight. Keep in mind that the Meta-owned company could easily choose to nix the feature, especially in case of negative user feedback.

WhatsApp has been testing other new features as well.

Other new features on WhatsApp

One of them is a revamped interface for editing contacts resembling people cards in Apple’s Contacts app, WABetaInfo reported. Another one would let you search for local businesses in your vicinity like shopping malls and restaurants via a new section. Read: How to send full-quality images via iMessage, WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal

Some of WhatsApp’s recent tests were expanded or launched publicly.

For instance, the messaging app recently started hiding your “last seen” status from strangers, with updated privacy controls now defaulting to showing your “last seen” status only to the pope you’ve previously chatted with. Also, WhatsApp now animates other emoji characters aside from the red heart. And last but not least, WhatsApp now allows you to preview voice messages before sending them.