WhatsApp is constantly making changes intended to improve the user experience for its customers - that’s over a billion world-wide. 2019 is no exception. Let’s take a look at the latest updates that will be hitting our phones in the coming months.
1.Touch ID and Face ID
A new and improved security function, this will prevent any third parties from reading your messages.
2. Dark Mode/ night mode
A highly anticipated update, the new ‘dark’ or ‘night’ mode for WhatsApp offers a battery saving function and is kinder to the eyes for users.
This new function has been in development for a few months and has already been seen in action within WhatsApp ‘Beta’ version. There are plans to roll out this new function to the standard app in the coming months. It allows the user to modify the default colours in the app to a dark grey tone and also reduces the amount of light emitted from the screen - meaning it is a safer option for the eyes, especially at night.
3. Limiting the frequency of forwarding messages
In an attempt to stop the spread of misinformation or ‘fake news’, WhatsApp will be putting a limit on the number of times a message can be forwarded. This limit will be five times.
According to the LiveMint website, users will also soon be able to see how many times a message has been forwarded. A message that has been forwarded up to four times will be marked as ‘frequently forwarded’.
4. Ranking of contacts
This new feature will automatically sort your contacts according to the frequency of your interaction with them. The system works by monitoring the status updates that you interact with most.
5. Hide WhatsApp status
You will be able to choose who can view your WhatsApp status. If you would prefer a certain contact not to view your status, you will be able to choose to ‘hide’ them.
6. Privacy settings for groups
This new privacy setting and invitation system helps users have more control.
Users will be able to control who has permission to add them to groups. WhatsApp says this will “help to limit abuse” and keep people’s phone numbers private. Closely linked to this, the app will also introduce an invite system for those who enable the additional protections, allowing users to ‘vet’ any incoming group invites before deciding to join.
To enable this function you will need to open WhatsApp and, go to Settings >Account > Privacy > Groups and select one of the three options: "Nobody", "My contacts" or "All". "Nobody" means that you will need to individually approve each of the groups you are invited to, and "My contacts" means that only the users you have in your address book can add you to different groups.
7. New web and desktop features
To celebrate the success of the WhatsApp Business app, certain functions of the Business app have been added to the desktop and web version.
These functions are:
Quick responses - frequent messages to answer common questions,
Labels - for organising contacts and chat conversations and,
Chat list filtering - allowing the user to manage and sort conversations using various filters such as unread messages, broadcast lists or groups .
8. Share WhatsApp status on other platforms
Facebook-owned WhatsApp has begun rolling out a feature for Android users to let them share their status stories directly on Facebook Story and other apps. Just like Instagram, WhatsApp's status ‘stories’ lets users post images, text and videos on their profile that disappear after 24 hours.
Currently the function to cross share ‘stories’ across different apps has not been officially launched, but appears to be rolling out gradually, preparing for what has been reported Mark Zuckerberg’s plans to create a unified app combining WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. If all goes to plan this will allow over 2.6 billion users communicate with each other via ‘cross-apps’ by 2020.
9. Animated stickers
The original WhatsApp sticker function has now been active for around a year. There’s news on the grapevine that moving stickers will arrive as a new function before the close of 2019.
10. Ignore archived chats
This feature will prevent archived chats from being automatically unarchived when a new message from that chat is received.