WhatsApp, owned by Meta, has been continuously enhancing its messaging platform with exciting features designed to improve functionality and boost privacy. These new additions offer users innovative ways to communicate and connect with their contacts., some as recent as two days ago, and how they transform how people use the app. While these features are rolling out globally, users in the UAE may need to wait a bit longer to access some of them.
1. Use One Account on up to 4 Phones
WhatsApp lets users link their accounts to up to four mobile devices simultaneously. This announcement came from international news Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg, offering a significant upgrade to the multi-device feature. Previously, this functionality was limited to browsers, tablets, laptops, computers, and other mobile phones. This is particularly useful for users managing multiple phones for different purposes, such as work, home and business, who wish to centralize their WhatsApp communication.
2. Password Protected Chats
WhatsApp has introduced a feature that enables users to password-protect their chats for added privacy. Breaking news: These protected chats are hidden within a password-protected folder, separate from the regular chat list. Notifications from these chats will not display message content or sender information, enhancing the security of sensitive conversations.
3. Truecaller Integration
Truecaller, known for its caller identification service, is soon making this feature available over WhatsApp and other messaging apps. This integration aims to help users identify potential spam calls over the internet. Scam and Telemarketing calls have increased in some regions, and this feature provides a valuable defence against such unwanted communication.
4. Animated Emojis
WhatsApp is working on introducing animated emojis, adding an extra layer of fun and expressiveness to messages. These animated emojis will be sent by default, enhancing the user experience. Developed with the help of the Lottie library for animations, this feature promises to make messaging more engaging.
5. Saving Disappearing Messages
With the ‘keep in chat’ feature, users can now save essential messages that are set to disappear. If a recipient chooses to save a message, the sender will be notified and can decide whether to allow it. The ‘kept’ messages will be stored in a separate ‘Kept Messages’ list within the chat info.
6. Exit Group Chats Quietly
WhatsApp now offers a discreet way to exit group chats without notifying other members. Previously, when a member left a group, all members were informed. With this privacy update, only the group admin will receive a notification of the departure, ensuring a quieter exit.
7. Control Online Status Visibility
Users can now choose contacts and see when they are online. If you prefer not to let specific contacts know when you’re using WhatsApp, you can block them from seeing the ‘online’ indicator in the chat.
8. Prevent Screenshots on ‘View-Once’ Messages
The ‘view-once’ feature allows users to send messages that are deleted after viewing. WhatsApp has added an extra layer of privacy by preventing recipients from taking screenshots of view-once videos or photos, ensuring that the content truly disappears after viewing.
9. Simplified Payments
In India, WhatsApp has made it easier for users to make payments directly within the chat. And choose their preferred payment method from supported UPI apps, debit and credit cards, and more. This feature simplifies the purchasing process, allowing users to make payments seamlessly. WhatsApp has partnered with Razorpay and PayU to facilitate these transactions.
10. Meta Verified Businesses
WhatsApp is introducing the “Meta Verified Businesses” concept to enhance trust and authenticity in user-business interactions. Businesses can undergo verification by Meta, WhatsApp’s parent company, and receive a verified badge. Verified businesses will also gain access to enhanced account support and protection against impersonation. Premium features, such as creating a custom WhatsApp page for web discoverability and multi-device support, will be available to Meta Verified businesses. Initially, this feature will be tested with small businesses using the WhatsApp Business app before rolling out to the broader WhatsApp Business Platform.
11. WhatsApp for Mac with Group Calling
WhatsApp has launched a new and improved app for Mac users, bringing the ability to make group calls directly from Mac devices. Users can engage in audio calls with up to 32 participants. This update enhances file sharing and viewing chat history for a more seamless experience. As always, WhatsApp ensures end-to-end encryption to protect users’ messages and calls across devices.
12. Instant Video Messages
Building on the success of voice messages, WhatsApp has introduced “instant video messages.” Users can now record and share short personal videos directly within the chat. These real-time video messages add a dynamic and emotional dimension to communication, making it easy to share moments and reactions. Video messages are end-to-end encrypted, ensuring the security of users’ messages.
13. New Privacy Features
WhatsApp remains committed to user privacy and introduces two new features to enhance protection. “Silence Unknown Callers” automatically screens out spam, scams, and calls from unknown numbers, offering increased privacy and control over incoming calls. Additionally, “Privacy Checkup” is a step-by-step guide to configuring privacy settings, helping users choose the right level of protection for their messages, calls, and personal information.
14. Edit Sent Messages
WhatsApp allows users to edit sent messages. Users can change the long-press on a sent message and select “Edit” to make corrections or provide additional context. Edited messages are labelled “edited” to inform recipients without revealing the edit history. This feature enhances the overall chat experience and is protected by end-to-end encryption.
15. WhatsApp Channels Go Global
WhatsApp is expanding its “Channels” feature to over 150 countries, offering a private way for users to receive updates from organizations, sports teams, artists, and thought leaders. Channels are separate from regular chats; users can follow channels without revealing their choices to others. WhatsApp enhances Channels with features like an enhanced directory for easy discovery, reaction emojis, editing capabilities for admins, and the ability to forward updates to other chats or groups. The company plans to introduce more features and allow anyone to create their channel.
WhatsApp’s continuous innovation in adding these features demonstrates its commitment to enhancing user experiences while addressing privacy concerns. These additions offer users new ways to connect, communicate, and protect their information within the platform. Users can expect further enhancements to enrich their messaging interactions as WhatsApp evolves.