The new tagging feature - which works in much the same way as it does in Facebook or Twitter - means users will receive a notification if someone tags them in a message.
This means that pretending you haven’t seen a message you don’t want to respond to will be harder than ever - with contacts determined to get your attention able to ensure you aren’t going to miss the conversation by using the function.
Users will receive a notification even if they have muted a conversation.
The feature is currently being tested for iOS and Android and is expected by some commentators to reach the public in the next few weeks.
Other features due to reach WhatsApp users this year include GIF support, new security features and, some speculate, video calls.
Last month WhatsApp - which is owned by Facebook - attracted criticism after it was revealed that the firm would be sharing the phone numbers of its users with its parent company.
The change in terms and conditions is designed so that Facebook can recommend friends based on your WhatsApp contacts and target you with relevant advertising.
“Specifically, we will provide Facebook the phone numbers people use to sign up for WhatsApp, along with information about how often people are using our service. This will allow us to improve our app’s performance and ultimately be more transparent about our metrics with the public,” said a WhatsApp spokesperson.
And although users have the ability to opt out WhatsApp will still share your number, the WhatsApp FAQ section confirms.
The FAQ section on whatsapp.com provides a step-by-step guide on how to opt out, but adds that “The Facebook family of companies will still receive and use this information for other purposes such as improving infrastructure and delivery systems, understanding how our services or theirs are used, securing systems, and fighting spam, abuse, or infringement activities.”