By G9ija

WhatsApp is preparing to roll out an update which will be a godsend to gossips, busy-bodies and anyone who likes to quietly slag off their friends.

A new ‘reply privately’ feature is finally going to be unleashed to the public as part of new software that’s due for imminent release.

The update allows you to quickly send a message privately to any member of a group. This is very handy for quickly having a go at another member of the chat, for instance, or saying something appallingly rude about a friend which you’d never dare announce in public.

Now there’s another easy way of chatting s*** about people on WhatsApp without them knowing It may also come in handy for other, less malevolent forms of social interaction, should they exist. Perhaps you could send your phone number to only one member of a group or make a plan which doesn’t involve everyone else in the chat.

You might reply privately to share some cherished secret or perhaps a reminiscence of a blessed private moment you once shared with the recipient. The feature was uncovered by the experts at WABetainfo, who said it will be released as part of a version 2.19.10 update on the Apple App Store.

To send a private reply to a member of the group, you’ll have to hold down on their message for a short time. A ‘reply privately’ option will then pop up. You will then be able to write a reply for one person’s eyes only, which will also quote their original message so they know what the hell you’re on about.

Now, you might think that WhatsApp gossip is harmless – but there have been some real-life tragedies sparked by rumours spread using the messaging app.  In India, more than 40 people have been killed by mobs in the past two years after false rumours about child abduction or organ harvesting were circulated through WhatsApp. And in Mexico, two innocent men were burned alive last month due to gossip and fake news which were shared on the app.