In mid-2010, Meta introduced WhatsApp in India, where it quickly gained popularity, reaching 400 million users by mid-2019. Despite the new privacy regulations in place, the app still used by people in India, where it may soon have 500 million users. According to App Annie, a mobile insight company, more than 95% of monthly active users of WhatsApp in India use the app daily and virtually all of its user bases check the app once a week.
WhatsApp, which started as a straightforward instant messaging program, has evolved into a multifunctional internet platform. With the addition of several additional features this year by Meta, WhatsApp is now a feature-rich cross-platform messaging program that is an expense for users of Android and iOS devices.
Unlike most other free instant messaging programs, WhatsApp does not have any adverts. Not only that, but WhatsApp is the only meta-owned platform that doesn’t generate any revenue because the messages are end-to-end encrypted and Meta doesn’t in any manner market the app.
Here are a few of the most important features Meta made to WhatsApp
Some of these functions were taken directly from other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, but Meta also introduced a few fresh features that are exclusive to its instant messaging service.
Avatars were made available to all WhatsApp users worldwide on December 7th.
In essence, an avatar is a computerized representation of the person. The customized avatar may be used as a profile picture or as unique stickers that convey a range of feelings and behaviors.
On Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram, avatars already exist. It becomes the fourth Meta platform to let users present themselves in their styles with the official debut on WhatsApp.
On WhatsApp, users may customize their facial features, outfits, and hairstyles to create their unique avatars.
For a better user experience, WhatsApp stated it will continue to “provide style updates including lighting, shading, and hairstyle textures.”
According to reports from October, WhatsApp has started beta testing the avatar’s feature. The feature may be accessible as a separate option from the Settings menu, claims WhatsApp. Once there, users must select “Create Your Avatar” to start the process.
Say 👋 to 🆕 Message Yourself.
You can now send reminders 📝, inspiration ☁️, and everything in between to yourself in one easy-to-find place synced across all your devices. pic.twitter.com/4dahlgXysi
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) November 29, 2022
On November 29, WhatsApp started rolling out the Message Yourself feature. Users can text themselves using the feature. Users may now send themselves reminders, to-dos, or even moments via WhatsApp.
By clicking the chat icon, users will see the ability to message themselves. Then they will choose their contact details from the list. The same methods used to send messages to other contacts apply here.
One may send anything, including basic text messages, voice messages, and even images.
The feature is a great approach to help the user in taking notes.
On November 3, WhatsApp debuted the Communities feature. The “major update” is being sent out globally and will be accessible to all users in the coming months, the company said in a blog post.
The user will be able to get updates from other community members and information from the community’s numerous groups, all of which have something in common.
WhatsApp added that Communities will allow “organizations communicating with a level of privacy and security.”
WhatsApp stated that the current solutions “require users to trust apps or software companies with a copy of their communications, and we think they deserve the higher degree of security afforded by end-to-end encryption.”
Larger groups, 32-person video calling, and in-chat polls
Three other WhatsApp features also released alongside Communities.
These include the ability to create polls in chat and a marked improvement to video calling, which would now support up to 32 people at once. At the moment, groups are limited to 1,024 users.
All three of the new features, according to WhatsApp’s blog, will be “especially useful for Communities.”
More privacy-enhancing features
WhatsApp is getting a new set of enhanced privacy features, according to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, who released a statement on August 9.
The features, according to Zuckerberg, would help make WhatsApp messaging “as private and safe as face-to-face conversations,” as reported by the BBC.
One of the most important features is allowing users to leave groups without informing anybody other than admins. As of right now, when a member quits the group or is dropped, the chat box notifies every member of the group.
Users will also have control over who may view them online. They can specify which of their contacts are not permitted to view the user’s online status.
The ability to send View Once messages will be supported by a third feature. Once the target recipient has viewed them, these messages vanish. The feature update will protect the sender’s privacy by preventing other users from taking screenshots of View Once messages.
Improving voice messages
Those who don’t want to write messages may now share voice notes quickly and easily due to the introduction of voice messages in 2013. Users may share more personal and expressive conversations as voice messages with the help of the simply designed feature.
In a blog post dated March 30, 2022, WhatsApp stated that end-to-end encryption used to preserve and maintain the privacy of the 7 billion voice messages that users share each day.
In March 2022, the messaging service introduced new features to improve the WhatsApp voice message experience. These consist of:
Playback outside of chat: This allows you to hear a voice message while using your smartphone to multitask, read, and answer other messages.
Pause/resume recording: You can take a break from recording your voice message to gather your thoughts or get rid of distractions. When you’re ready, you can restart the recording.
Waveform representation: The voice message displays a representation of the sound to convey that recorded.
Message drafts preview: Before sending voice messages to friends, family, or clients, you may listen to them.
Remember playback: This feature helps you to pick up where you left off while pausing a voice message in a chat.
Forwarded message fast playback: You may use the capability to listen to ordinary and forwarded voice messages at a 1.5x or 2x quicker pace.
WhatsApp is a vital part of how local clubs, companies, and schools interact and exchange confidential material. Communities, a one-stop store introduced by the messaging app in April 2022.
Communities will also provide group admins with new tools. Such as the ability to send announcement messages to everyone, to help them manage their groups.
After the launch, they will be able to use voice calls, a one-tap voice calling feature that allows up to 32 people to join on the call, and Admin Delete. This allows WhatsApp group admins to delete problematic messages from everyone’s conversations.
Reaction, sharing large files, and growing group sizes
Emoji Reactions introduced to the messaging app’s interface on May 5.
The update includes the following six emoji reactions: love, laugh, sad, surprise, and appreciation. The ones on Facebook and Instagram are similar to these. When you tap and hold the reactions for a few moments, they become available under messages and are simple to use. The user can select the answer that best matches the available possibilities. The feature also aids in reducing the number of messages. This feature will get more expressions, Meta also said.
Thanks to the update, users may now transmit files on WhatsApp that are up to 2 GB in size. The previous top limit was 100 MB. However, WiFi advised for the efficient transfer of larger files. When a file downloaded or uploaded, a counter that displays the amount of time it take to transfer is displayed. Encryption from end to end safeguards the function.
WhatsApp will let group admins add up to 512 people to a group to better serve corporations, academic facilities, and other tight-knit organizations.
Supporting small businesses
WhatsApp is making every effort to support businesses throughout the world. The company stated that it is developing simpler technology to help corporate operations and improve its online exposure. For example, WhatsApp makes it simple to manage chats across up to 10 devices.
To attract customers online, it will also provide new, customized WhatsApp click-to-chat buttons. However, if you have a WhatsApp Business account, you may pick from a premium, extra-charged service that includes these features.
The business is providing all businesses, regardless of size, with free, secure cloud hosting services as an added benefit. With the new API, companies can now immediately connect with their customers and may customize their experiences as well as enjoy a faster start-up time for using WhatsApp. To start, you may either join up directly or get in touch with Meta’s business solution suppliers.
Last Seen and profile picture privacy settings
Users will soon be able to choose which contacts see their profile pictures, status updates, and Last Seen statuses thanks to one of the most possible changes to WhatsApp in 2022.
The three options from the Privacy screen — “Everyone,” “My Contacts,” and “Nobody” — has extended to include “My Contacts Except….”
The contacts on the list of exceptions do not receive status updates, profile pictures, or Last Seen information when “My Contacts Except…” selected. More users may now decide who has access to their information.
Also Read: The India’s Budget 2023: What are the implications for India’s people?
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