Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp has had a busy 2018 so far. The company has introduced many new features for its users this year including group video and voice calling, stickers support, and even a payments option. Some of these features like WhatsApp Stickers have become hugely popular among the users. The online messaging platform has been under pressure to fight the spread of fake news on its platform and has taken solid steps in that regard too.
Whatsapp is evolving at lightning speed and the app is launching new features for its users. While active users may be aware of many of these features, for those who missed a few, here is a list of what WhatsApp has recently introduced –
Group video and voice calling
WhatsApp group calling is one of the biggest new features that was introduced in the chat app in 2018. After being tested for over a month, the feature made its debut in August. The company further improved the group calling experiencein December by making it easier to add participants to a call. The WhatsApp group calling currently supports just up to four people.
Stickers have been a mainstay of all major Asian chat apps for years now, and WhatsApp was a bit of a late-entrant in this space. In fact, Facebook’s own Messenger got support for stickers before WhatsApp. Still, after months of speculation and anticipation, WhatsApp finally added stickers to its platform in October. The app offers handful of default stickers to the users and more can be downloaded from the company’s Stickers Store.
As mentioned earlier, WhatsApp Payments was easily the company’s biggest new feature for the Indian users. Despite getting a bumper launch of the beta version back in February, the feature is still stuck in beta because of the regulatory hurdles. The company is still waiting for an official approval from Reserve Bank of India to open the payments to all. Based on the United Payments Interface (UPI), the WhatsApp Payments allow the users to send, request, and transfer money.
The Picture-in-Picture (PiP) feature allows the WhatsApp users to continue watching Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube videos in a small window while browsing the other parts of the application. The iPhone users were the first to get the feature in Januarythis year with the Android users joining the mix in December. Apart from the three video sharing services mentioned earlier, the PiP is not available for any other video sharing services or even the videos shared natively in the app.
WhatsApp Groups received a number of new features this year, including more controls for admins and creators. In addition to names, the groups can now also have descriptions. Further, WhatsApp has started allowing group creators to easily dismiss group admins using the “Dismiss As Admin” option. The creators can also restrict admins from changing group icon, subject or description.
The chat app in June started letting the Android users define whether they want media from certain chats or groups to appear in their media library. The feature was originally introduced in WhatsApp beta version 2.18.194 and removed in later versions, only to reappear later.
Forwarding restrictions and labelled forwarded messages
To tackle the spread of fake news and bogus messages on the platform, WhatsApp put up strict restrictions on message forwarding. The company also announced in July that it will remove the quick forward button from media messages. Additionally, the app has started showing a “Forwarded” label next of any messages that have been forwarded by other users to you. It is unclear how much of an impact these changes have had on the spread of misinformation.
WhatsApp data download
To meet EU’s data privacy guidelines, WhatsApp started offering the users the ability to download all the data that the platform has collected on them. This data can be downloaded by going to Settings > Account > Request Account Info. Once done, you will be taken to a page where you have to click Request Report. The feature was launched in May.
We Bet You Don’t Know Many Of These Features! How Many Features Were You Aware Of? Tell us in the comments section and stay connected with Awaaznation for all updates!