WhatsApp in 2021: From helplines for COVID-19 to payments update, top features and services

Here’s a look at WhatsApp’s highlights for 2021.

With India witnessing a very severe second wave of COVID-19, numerous state governments launched their dedicated helplines on WhatsApp

WhatsApp 2021 recap of services: As 2021 is coming to an end, every company is recapping the year that was. And WhatsApp is no different. After a year full of controversy, mass migration and court hearings in its biggest market, WhatsApp has released a recap of the key features and services that it launched in India this year. Here’s a look at WhatsApp’s highlights for 2021:

WhatsApp’s Initiatives against COVID-19

With India witnessing a very severe second wave of COVID-19, numerous state governments launched their dedicated helplines on WhatsApp to allow users to access resources for the pandemic and to even book vaccination appointments. In 2020, the Government of India had already launched MyGov Corona Helpdesk on WhatsApp, and this year, it was updated to include the ability to book vaccine appointments and download vaccination certificates. As per the Meta-owned platform, till now, more than 5.5 crore people have connected with the MyGov Corona Helpdesk bot, and more than 1.2 crore vaccine certificates have been downloaded using the platform.

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Better user privacy and user experience on WhatsApp

The instant messaging platform has released multiple features like View Once and Default Disappearing Mode with multiple duration options so that users can have additional privacy. Moreover, the app also enabled reporting of a user with the help of individual messages, apart from encrypting even the cloud backup.

WhatsApp also said that it has enhanced user experience on its platform by adding multiple features like Desktop Calling, Joinable Group Calls, Cross Platform Migration, Archive 2.0, Media Web Editor for web, new stickers and stickers in status.

2021 WhatsApp Payments update

Facebook’s sister platform also received multiple updates for WhatsApp Payments, like the new payment shortcut available across platforms, be it on Android or iOS. Cashbacks as well as Stickers in Pay Mode were also launched as incentives. The camera icon on WhatsApp was also enabled to scan QR codes for in-app payments to stores and vendors using QR codes.

WhatsApp Business expansion in 2021

WhatsApp partnered with cab aggregator Uber to provide an official Uber chatbot on the platform in a global-first WhatsApp Business integration with a cab aggregator. Bharat Petroleum also launched its Urja chatbot on WhatsApp, while Indian Oil Corporation used the WhatsApp API platform for allowing an easier method of gas bookings, booking status check, and loyalty points updates.

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