New WhatsApp features and other updates rolled out this year

In 2009, two ex-Yahoo! collaborators Brian Acton and Jan Koum launched WhatsApp as a one-to-one chat app service. Today, the app is much more than that, thanks to its interface and the regular updates it undergoes. But before we get to the WhatsApp updates in 2022, let’s take a look at some of the earlier ones.

Many changes in the app have been attributed to its acquisition by Meta (formerly known as Facebook) in 2014. Thus, with the improved usability, WhatsApp has become one of the fastest media to keep in touch with loved ones through chats and video and audio calls. as well as to engage the public and accelerate sales through features such as WhatsApp Business.

Other updates to the app include WhatsApp Web, which launched in 2015, and end-to-end encryption, stickers, group calls, and UPI payments introduced until 2018. In addition, in August 2021, the company introduced the “View Once” option. , causing chats to disappear after they were opened. It allows users to send photos without worrying about it taking up space on your phone. It also improved user privacy.

These are the new WhatsApp features introduced in 2022

Improve voice messages

Image credit: WhatsApp

With the introduction of voice messages in 2013, sharing voice memos became a quick and easy process, helping people who don’t want to type a message. The simply designed feature helps users to share more intimate and expressive conversations in the form of a voice note.

In a March 30, 2022 blog, WhatsApp reported that its users share an average of 7 billion voice messages, which are protected and kept private through end-to-end encryption.

Following on from this, the messaging app launched new features in March 2022 to improve the WhatsApp voice experience. Among which:

Don’t play chat: It helps you hear a voice message outside the chat, while reading and replying to other messages or multitasking on your smartphone.

Pause/Resume recording: You can pause the recording of your voice message to, for example, collect your thoughts or avoid distraction and resume recording when you are done.

Waveform Visualization: It shows a visual representation of the sound, on the voice message, to indicate that the recording is on.

Concept example: You can listen to your voice messages before sending them to your loved ones or customers.

Remember play: If you press pause while listening to a voice message in a chat, this feature allows you to pick up where you left off.

Fast playback on forwarded messages: This function allows you to increase the speed of normal and forwarded voice messages to 1.5x or 2x for faster listening.

Introducing communities

Image credit: WhatsApp

Organizations such as local clubs, schools or businesses rely heavily on WhatsApp to operate and share confidential information. Therefore, in April 2022, the messaging app introduced a total solution called Communities.

This feature helps to share information with a larger number of people by bringing several group chats under one roof, using a system that benefits them.

In this way, people can receive updates sent to the entire community, and create smaller discussion groups with common interests. For example, a school principal can use the Community feature to bring all parents together and share important updates in one space. They can also create groups for specific classes or extracurricular activities.

In addition, Communities will provide group admins with new tools, including announcement messages that can be broadcast to anyone.

More features will be enabled before the full Communities interface launches later in 2022. Although they have not specified the date, WhatsApp is focusing this year on developing communities to support its everyday users.

Once launched, they’ll be able to use Admin Delete, where WhatsApp group managers can delete problematic messages from everyone’s chats and voice calls, a one-tap voice calling feature that allows up to 32 people to make calls.

Comments, large file sharing and larger groups

Image credit: WhatsApp

The messaging app updated its interface with emoji responses on May 5.

The update includes six emoji responses: love, smile, sad, surprise, and thank you. These are similar to the ones available on Facebook and Instagram. Quick and fun to use, the comments appear under posts when you tap and hold them for a few seconds. The user can select the most appropriate response for the options. The feature also helps to reduce the number of messages. In addition, Meta informed that it will add more expressions to this feature.

The update allows users to share a file size of 2 GB on WhatsApp. The limit was previously set at 100 MB. However, for transferring larger files seamlessly, it is recommended to use Wi-Fi. While downloading or uploading a file, a counter is also displayed that shows how long it takes for the file to be transferred. The feature is secured with end-to-end encryption.

To further support businesses, schools, and other close-knit groups, WhatsApp allows group admins to add up to 512 people to a group.

Small Business Support

Image credit: WhatsApp

WhatsApp leaves no stone unturned to support businesses worldwide. The company announced that it is developing advanced features to help businesses grow and grow their online presence. WhatsApp, for example, makes it easy to manage chats on up to 10 devices.

In addition, to attract customers online, it will provide new customizable WhatsApp click-to-chat links. However, these features will be included as a premium, paid service that you can opt for if you have a WhatsApp Business account.

As a free service, the company offers free, secure cloud hosting services for all businesses, regardless of size. With the new API, not only has the startup time to access WhatsApp been reduced to minutes, but businesses can also customize their experiences and quickly contact their customers. You can sign up directly or contact Meta’s business solution providers to get started.

Other upcoming features

Image Credit: WhatsApp/Facebook

WhatsApp also wants to introduce more features and updates to simplify the user experience. While the launch date is yet to be confirmed, the features are likely to debut in 2022.

For iOS users, the app allows them to see profile pictures of individuals and groups in WhatsApp notifications. While this feature is in the testing phase, it will be released to others soon.

WhatsApp plans to redo the design of the interface that tells who you share media with. Allows users to choose new recipients before sending media files. You can also share an image, a video or a GIF on your status and chats.

Interestingly, Meta plans to improve the well-known Last Seen feature of certain contacts in the app. Currently, “everyone” or “your contacts” or “nobody” can see your last seen. Now users can select people who can’t see what time you last used WhatsApp.

A feature that may also be rolling out on multiple devices this year would allow users to log out of their WhatsApp accounts, similar to Facebook or Instagram.

(Featured and Hero Image Credit: WhatsApp)

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