WhatsApp dark mode is here - this is how to enable the controversial feature on your phone

Do you like the look of dark mode? (Photo: WhatsApp)Do you like the look of dark mode? (Photo: WhatsApp)
Do you like the look of dark mode? (Photo: WhatsApp)

Dark mode is already a popular feature on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, and now WhatsApp has its own version.

Here’s what you need to know about Whatsapp’s dark mode - and why it’s proving so controversial.

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Dark mode

Whatsapp confirmed on 3 March that dark mode is finally here.

The feature has been the “most requested” from users according to a Whatsapp blog post announcing the new colour theme.

“It’s designed to reduce eye strain in low light environments,” WhatsApp explained, “And we hope it prevents those awkward moments where your phone lights up the room.”

The blog post outlines how the focus of the new theme improves readability. It says the new theme helps “minimize eye fatigue and use colours that are closer to the system defaults on iPhone and Android respectively”.

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The theme also allows for an “information hierarchy”, whereby the most important information stands out with “colour and design elements”.

The announcement ended by saying: “We hope everyone enjoys dark mode, which is rolling out in the coming days on the latest version of WhatsApp.”

How to enable it

The good news is that dark mode is available on both Android and iOS smartphones, so you won’t be waiting for the feature to roll out on your device whilst others are enjoying the new theme.

The bad news is that to enable dark mode, you’ll need to be on the latest operating system on your phone, meaning either iOS 13 for Apple devices or Android 10.

You can turn on dark mode by doing the following:

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Go to WhatsApp settingsSelect ‘chats’Select ‘theme’From there you’ll be able to select ‘dark’ to enable dark mode

Mixed online reactions

The implementation of a dark mode for WhatsApp users has been a long awaited feature, with some users overjoyed with how it looks - but others feeling less than enthused.

Taking to social media platform Twitter, people shared their views.

One user tweeted: “I’ve waited so long for this WhatsApp dark mode update and it’s gorgeous.”

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“WhatsApp dark mode needs to do something about that awful green message bubble,” wrote another.

Another Twitter user wrote: “WhatsApp dark mode is ugly, but I guess I need to get used to it.”

“Dark mode on WhatsApp actually made me write a review for the app… It’s just so ugly,” despaired another.

Pushing back at those who hate the new theme, another tweeted: “People calling WhatsApp dark mode ugly, how else do you want dark mode to look like?”