WhatsApp update round-up: From desktop voice and video calls to disappearing photos, closer look at all its new features

By: |
September 06, 2021 7:08 PM

Are you finding it difficult to keep up with all of the new features that have and are about to come? Financial Express Online is rounding up all of these features!

So far, one WhatsApp account can only be used on one device - the phone - and users can use WhatsApp Web or the Desktop app to access their messages on their computer

WhatsApp: Instant messaging platform WhatsApp is bringing in several new features – some that have been officially announced and some that have been reported to be under works. Many new features have also already been introduced by the Facebook-owned platform this year itself. While many of these features seem like the next natural step in improving the platform, it could also be that the sudden surge of features on the platform is to provide a lot of functionality to users at once in a bid to stop them from switching to alternative platforms in mass numbers, after the scare that the platform faced earlier this year.

But whatever the reason may be, a lot of features are coming. Are you finding it difficult to keep up with all of the new features that have and are about to come? Financial Express Online is rounding up all of these features!

Also read | WhatsApp reportedly working on Facebook Messenger-like message reactions, Money Heist stickers now rolling

Voice, video calls from desktop

The first feature that came through for WhatsApp was the ability for users to make voice and video calls from the desktop app.

Joinable group calls

WhatsApp has enabled a new feature using which a user can join a missed group call while it is ongoing. Before this, if a user missed a group voice or a video call, they would not be able to join it easily. Now though, they would be able to see a button to rejoin the missed group voice or video call while the call is ongoing.

Disappearing media

Much like the feature that is available on Snapchat and Instagram, now, Facebook has also introduced the option to send disappearing media or one-time-view media in WhatsApp. Now, in case a user is sending their contact a video or a photo, they can choose to make it a disappearing one, which means that the recipient would only be able to view it once. Moreover, any unviewed view-once media would automatically be deleted from the chat after 14 days of it being sent.

Transfer of chats

In a move that is likely to be praised by users a lot, WhatsApp has begun allowing chats to be transferred from Android to iOS phones. This feature, only available for Samsung Android phones presently, has been a long standing demand, since otherwise, users switching from Android devices to iOS lost their WhatsApp chats during the switch. Though no timeline has been given for it, WhatsApp said it is working on bringing this option to other Android phones as well.

Message reactions

This feature has been the talk of the digital town recently. Message reactions let users react to a message with the help of a range of emojis, like laugh, love/like, cry emoticons etc, letting them easily communicate what they feel about a message that is sent. This eliminates the need for long messages to reply to the messages, and also is easier in case multiple messages talk about different topics. The feature is available on WhatsApp’s sister apps Messenger and Instagram, on Twitter and even on Apple’s iMessage. Now, reports have suggested that the feature is being tested on WhatsApp as well.

Multi-device support

So far, one WhatsApp account can only be used on one device – the phone – and users can use WhatsApp Web or the Desktop app to access their messages on their computer, but for this, they need their phone to be charged and connected to the internet. However, WhatsApp is now working on multi-device support that would allow users to access the same WhatsApp account from different devices without needing their phone to be connected to the net.

Disappearing mode

An extension of WhatsApp’s disappearing messages feature, the company is working on a Disappearing Mode, as confirmed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. While the disappearing messages feature is only meant for individual chats, the mode is meant as a blanket feature that would activate this feature across all chats of the users. This means that when this mode is enabled, the messages sent to all of the WhatsApp chats during this time would be deleted automatically once the scheduled duration elapses. It is likely to be made available later this year.

Duration options for disappearing messages

Presently, users only have a seven-day window or limit for disappearing messages. That means that any message sent when the disappearing messages feature is enabled would be deleted after seven days of it being sent. However, now, it has been reported that the company is working on two more durations – 24 hours and 90 days – for users to choose from.

Chat bubbles – redesigned

A new feature reportedly coming to the users is the redesigned version of chat bubbles. They would have a new green colour, and would be bigger. This would make the text stand out. The redesign is being tested in beta mode on Android and iOS at the moment.

New way to view status updates

Status tab is the only way to view status updates on WhatsApp right now. But a new way is being tested, in which users would be able to view the status update from the profile picture of the user. When they would tap on the profile picture of the other user, they would get two options – to either view the profile picture or to view the status update. To indicate that a contact had posted a status update, a ring would be visible around the profile picture – much like what is visible on Instagram in case of stories. This feature has not yet reached the beta testing stage.

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