Meta-owned Whatsapp – the world's most widely used instant messaging platform – has introduced a wide array of exciting features in recent months, with the platform constantly adding user-friendly upgrades to enhance the service.
From improved functionality to boosting privacy, the new features provide users with new and improved ways to connect and communicate with their loved ones.
Here are 8 new features introduced within the last year – with some as recently as two days ago – that will change the way people use the messaging platform. While these features are, or will soon be, available globally, UAE users will have to wait and see when some of these will be rolled out in the country.
1. Use one account on up to 4 phones
WhatsApp users can now use their account for up to four mobiles simultaneously, Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg announced last month. “Starting today, you can log into the same WhatsApp account on up to four phones,” he said in a post.
While the multi-device feature has been long available, it could only be used through browsers, computers, or tablets. But now users, can use the feature to log in to multiple phones as well, according to a report.
This feature will come in handy for those using separate phones for home, work or business that are looking to use one account to link them all.
2. Password protected chats
This week, Zuckerberg announced that WhatsApp will now make chats completely private, by allowing users to keep chats password protected. According to him, these chats will be hidden in a password protected folder, and won't appear with the rest of your chats.
Notifications from password-protected chats will not display any message content or even the sender.
Truecaller will soon start making its caller identification service available over WhatsApp and other messaging apps to help users spot potential spam calls over the internet, the company told Reuters on Monday.
Currently in beta phase, the feature will be rolled out globally later this month.
Telemarketing and scamming calls have been on the rise in countries like India, where users gets about 17 spam calls per month on average, according to a 2021 report by Truecaller.
4. Animated emojis
Emojis not enough? The social media messaging app is developing an animated emojis feature, it said.
The new feature is aimed to improve user experience by making messages more fun to share and enhancing communication.
Designed with the help of Lottie, a library that allows designers to create simple animations, the animated emojis will be sent by default. This means that users may not have control over deciding whether the emoji they send will be animated or not.
5. Saving disappearing messages
This brand-new feature – known as the 'keep in chat' feature – allows users to save any important messages that could possibly disappear.
However, if a receiver intends to save the message, the sender will be notified. In the notification, the sender can veto the decision, thereby keeping control of the message with the sender itself.
The messages that have been 'kept' will then show up in a separate list called 'Kept Messages' which will appear in the chat info.
6. Exit group chats without notifying anyone
With this new feature, the app aims to give people a quiet way to exit groups, without drawing the attention of other group members.
Previously, when a member of a WhatsApp group exits the chat, all members are notified. After the privacy update, only the group admin will be notified of the departure, while the rest of the members remain unaware.
7. Control who can see you when you're online
WhatsApp users will be able to pick the contacts that can see them online. If a user does not want a few (or most) of their contacts to know that they are currently using a platform, they can block them from seeing the 'online' indicator that appears on the chat.
8. Prevent screenshots on 'view-once' messages
View-once messages are texts you can send on WhatsApp that get deleted after they are viewed by the receiver.
With this privacy update, receivers will not be able to take screenshots of videos or photos sent using the view-once feature.
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