WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world, used by over 1.2 billion people worldwide and 200 million in India alone.
Despite its success, the Facebook-owned firm has not become complacent and always keeps the competition on its toes by releasing new features every few weeks. 2017, of course, watched the overhauled WhatsApp Status (an aping of Snapchat), but there have been many other small updates this year that didn’t get as much attention. From increased media sharing limit to video streaming, we now take a look at each of the newest WhatsApp features released this year alone. While going down this memory lane, we’ve rated features in the order that we feel made the maximum impact (or will make, if in beta) in user experience.
WhatsApp in October created the Delete for Everyone attribute live for many users, the biggest change to talks on the stage since the grim ticks were introduced. As the name implies, this feature allows a sender to delete messages they had already delivered, in individual chats in addition to group chats. Text messages, images, videos, files etc. can be remembered using this feature, which is found when you delete a message and selecting the Delete for Everyone option. The message on the sender as well as recipient’s sides will be substituted with “This message has been deleted.” But a third-party program with access to notifications can retrieve sent messages which were deleted.
2. New revamped Snapchat-like Status attribute
Maybe, one of the most important updates this year, the new Reputation attribute was rolled out to all users worldwide in February. The new WhatsApp Status feature replaced the old text type of standing to allow consumers to change their status to a brief video or multiple photos which will automatically disappear in 24 hours. Although this feature was clearly introduced to battle Snapchat competition, it overhauled the way users interacted on the program daily.
This change is significant since WhatsApp is one of the primary platforms for media sharing after an event, get-together, or any social meeting where pictures and videos have been accepted. The media limit was first at 10, and this increase to 30 was a welcome shift from all users. It was first seen in Android beta in January, but was later rolled out on all platforms eventually.
4. In-app YouTube playback
WhatsApp is also testing a feature that allows users to play with YouTube videos within the program. This means that you will have the ability to see the video without leaving the app; the video could be viewed in either picture-in-picture mode or full-screen mode. In addition, the window can be moved around. If you would like to browse through other messages inside the same WhatsApp chat, or hide the video on the side. Especially, the video playback does not continue when you alter the conversation. There is one more caveat to the feature since it is only available for iPhone 6 and later models.
5. Two-step verification
This attribute was rolled out in February to all users within an optional security feature. Users will have to provide a six-digit passcode (made by these using this feature) when registering their phone number with WhatsApp again – or any endeavor to verify their phone number via the program. To know how to set up two-step verification, follow the step-by-step guide here.
6. All file type move
This new feature will now enable you to talk about video in a wide variety of formats, MP3 tunes, or even APK files for that matter on WhatsApp. The file sharing limit will still be at 128MB on iOS, 64MB on Web, and 100MB on Android.
7. Ability to queue messages on iPhone
This ability to queue messages even when in regions of poor or no connectivity was a big miss for iPhone users, as it prevented them to send messages at all in regions of poor connectivity. Today, all users can just send a WhatsApp message to a group/individual even when connectivity is unavailable, and the message will be sent automatically once they get connectivity again.
Following the introduction of the new Status attribute, support for the old Text Status attribute was ended. This created a massive uproar among consumers, and the attribute was subsequently brought back on popular demand. The feature is now available to get iPhone and Android users both.
WhatsApp introduced several nifty features to increase media sharing. The Photo Bundling feature enables users to send photos and videos to your own contacts as a record. WhatsApp users can now send a bunch of photos to their friends, who will receive them bundled within an album rather than as previously, one following another. Once the album is opened, all images are displayed on a single page. The attribute is currently available for iPhoneusers and is in beta for Android users.
The video streaming attribute was first spotted in Android beta, but was rolled out in the secure version to iPhone users first. This feature enables its users to watch shared videos while they’re being downloaded in the background. It will use your Wi-Fi or mobile data to buffer a shared video, while it’s still in the downloading procedure in the background. Earlier, WhatsApp users had to wait until a video gets completely downloaded to see it – depending upon WhatsApp auto-download setting.
Lately, WhatsApp also included the ability to add colour filters to the media which you send in chats for iPhone users. Swiping up will pull out five photo filters which you can choose from. These are Pop, B&W, Cool, Film, and Chrome, however we anticipate WhatsApp to include more in the future.
10. Night Mode, Quick Reply button, and ability for Siri to browse messages out loud
For iPhone users, WhatsApp lately introduced a new night mode feature for its camera for low-light photography. Interestingly, the Night Mode icon looks by default just when the camera detector detects low-light conditions, and not otherwise.
In April, WhatsApp additionally gave more abilities to Siri. Four key highlights include – it is possible to ask Siri to see out your latest messages; visual improvements to the Calls tab, Contact info, and Group info screens; ability to select multiple statuses simultaneously in the My Updates screen which you may forward and delete; and support for Persian language.
Another iPhone-only attribute was that the Quick Response feature that enabled users to respond to an individual just by swiping right to a specific text in chats. This reply shortcut is particularly useful in group chats where you speak to multiple users at the same time.
11. Chat improvements
To improve the basic handling of conversation and how you communicate with the monitor while chatting, WhatsApp has created many tweaks this season. Most noteworthy is that Android users got a fresh different video call button and saw the relocation of the attachment button. Earlier, the video calling feature was hidden within or grouped with the voice calling button, and one would need to tap twice in order to select video calling from a pop-up menu. The attachment button has been relocated to the bottom within the text pub. You will now find the little attachment feature right next to the camera icon in the text bar. Especially, the text bar too got a fresh look with curved corners instead of the square-shaped box of old.
With the new Pinned Chats feature introduced in May for Android users, WhatsApp allowed pinning of up to three contacts on top of rest of the conversations. Earlier, users were limited to send only one touch at a time, but now that limit was revoked. This attribute was seen on Android beta, and should roll out to get everyone shortly.
Founded in Android beta was also emoji search that brings the ability to hunt for emojis according to key words. This nifty feature was first possible through third-party programs, but now the ability is coming to the in-app computer keyboard as well. There were also new font shortcuts seen in beta for bold, italics, and strike through. This could remove the requirement to add text inside asterisks while typing for making it bold, or type phrase between underscores to italicise.
12. Change Number and Live Location attribute
Finally but importantly, WhatsApp was recently reported to be testing a new feature on the Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile platform that may make life less painful when changing your contact number. In trying to ease the transition, it is testing a feature that will notify your friends and family about your number change for you.
13. Group calls, option to switch between video and voice calls
WhatsApp is reportedly working to introduce group voice and video calls online chat platform, in addition to testing the option to switch between call types. The WhatsApp v2.17.70 beta to get iPhone update has code references to set calls – while group voice calls were referenced multiple times, there was just one mention of group video calls. An option to switch between voice calls and video calls without hanging up was spotted in November; the other party will have to agree to change the call type for the change to take effect in-call. The option for picture-in-picture (PIP) video calls also surfaced on WhatsApp this season, and going by leaked screenshots, it will allow consumers to continue chatting with other people even as they partake in forecasts.
WhatsApp launched live location sharing attribute in October, allowing its 1 billion consumers to track their friends and families in real time. The live location can be shared in both individual chats as well as classes, and works much when WhatsApp is not being used actively. There’s a ‘Live Until’ option that allows users to restrict the length of time they need others’ to track them (maximum up to 8 hours). A new option in your Account Privacy settings will give you an overview of all WhatsApp chats you are sharing your live location in at the time.
15. Verified accounts
WhatsApp verified profiles have been launched for businesses in an effort to make it easier for consumers to authenticate the identity of companies reaching out to them. All these companies will have a green badge with white tick mark next to their titles, and the chats with them will be denited with yellow messages.