Here are 5 recent changes in WhatsApp and how they are important

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August 15, 2018
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The Facebook-owned messaging app is making serious attempts to keep the users hooked to the app. Some of the recent features are in response to mob lynchings in India that have resulted in Indian Government threatening Whatsapp to take strict action against the spread of fake news or the app will be banned in India.

While some of the updates are available in beta, a few have been rolled out to all the users of WhatsApp. Here are five recent changes made by the leading messaging app with 1 billion daily active users:

1. The feature that helps to deal with unwanted messages

The beta version 2.18.246 has a report feature that enables you to not only report but also block and save chat history of individuals.

The feature is available for individual as well as group chats and upon tapping the report button, a new alert appears which allows the user to report a specific number to WhatsApp and hence the contact is instantly blocked and all messages get deleted in the chat. Currently, the feature is available for Android beta testers and It is expected that the feature will be rolled out for public soon.

 

2. The feature that allows you to chat and watch videos in WhatsApp simultaneously

WhatsApp’s 2.18.234 version was submitted to Google beta program recently and it enables you to watch YouTube and Instagram videos in small windows in WhatsApp through Picture in Picture (PiP) mode. Users can simultaneously browse through their chats. Users need to click on play symbol in the thumbnail of the sent video and instead of visiting Instagram or YouTube, they can watch the video right there and then.

3. The feature that allows you to talk to four WhatsApp contacts on video call

The feature has been rolled out for public and WhatsApp users can make a group call to as many as four contacts at the same time. Users need to make a regular video call to one friend via WhatsApp. Then tap on the “Add participant” button located at the top right corner and add more contacts to the video call. Just like the chats on WhatsApp, the video calls are also end-to-end encrypted.

4. The feature that fights with the spread of fake news

In order to control the spread of fake viral messages that lead to mob lynchings in India, WhatsApp rolled out forward labeled messages and also added a limit to the number of forwarded messages. On 8th of August, the users of WhatsApp in India started witnessing limit to the number of messages they can forward. While the forwarded labeled feature has been rolled out for users all over the world, the feature that adds the limit to the number of messages that can be forwarded is still to arrive to the messaging app.

5. The feature that lets you share GIF and stickers on WhatsApp web

According to a report by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is working on a new feature that will also allow users to share GIFs and stickers through WhatsApp’s web client. WhatsApp web users can only view sent and received GIFs but cannot use the web client to send GIFs or stickers. This upcoming feature will make WhatsApp web equally interesting.

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