WhatsApp. Next to Facebook, it’s your favorite app that you love to use – and that you love to complain about. Luckily for us, the WhatsApp team is hard at work at making their premier chat service top notch on Windows Phone. Unfortunately, what we’re about to share is part of their private beta, so the public version is possibly a few days – or weeks – out.

But you folks love teases, so here’s an exclusive one for you.

The beta for WhatsApp, version 376, just went out in the last few hours and it has two big changes that an anonymous tipster has passed on to us. One is a new Settings screen. Now, the Settings page is much cleaner and in line with the Modern UI principles. It certainly looks more organized. But that’s small potatoes stuff.

The big new feature that is coming is custom backgrounds for chat notifications. Found under Settings, users will be able to head into Chat Settings > Background to choose any image of their liking. Options include:

  • Take a photo
  • Choose from albums
  • Search web
  • Delete

That appears to be a fairly robust selection. In search, a user can use a built in engine to pull up images based off of search, and then select it as it their choice. Once you chose an image, it will be ‘set’ as the universal chat window for all contacts.

Overall, it’s a simple feature but one many of you have been clamoring for, so with that, you now know it’s only a matter of time before it hits the public version for all to download.

Combined with Media Autodownload settings and custom notification sounds, the next version of WhatsApp should be a doozy.

Note: WhatsApp beta is a private beta, so we are not sharing the link as it would not work for any non-listed members. There currently is no public way to sign up for the beta, so please don't ask.