8 biggest WhatsApp features introduced in 2018
2018 has been one eventful year for WhatsApp. The Facebook-owned popular messaging app saw many featured being added. With over 220 million users, India is it’s currently the biggest market globally.
As part of ‘Best of 2018’ series, here is a rundown of some of the biggest features introduced by WhatsApp.
Group Video and Voice Calling
After being beta tested, group call was introduced in August. It is undoubtedly one of the best features of WhatsApp. The WhatsApp group calling currently supports just up to four people. This was made after a December update.
Introduction of stickers increased the fun quotient in chatting. The app offers a handful of default stickers to the users and more can be downloaded from the company’s Stickers Store. In fact, Facebook’s messenger had introduced stickers a while back.
This was easily the biggest feature for Indian users. The feature got a bumper launch of the beta version back in February. But the feature is still stuck in beta because of the regulatory hurdles. The company is still waiting for official approval from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to open the payments to all. Based on the United Payments Interface (UPI), the WhatsApp Payments allow the users to send, request, and transfer money.
Using this feature we can watch YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram videos in a dedicated window while browsing through WhatsApp. This feature can be used in individual chats or even group chats. Once you tap that link, the video plays in a small, dedicated window that sits on top of your WhatsApp chats. It was launched in Beta in October this year.
Group Chats Control
WhatsApp group received a lot of updates this year. This feature made Admins more in control of their groups. In addition to group names, the groups can now also have a description. Further, WhatsApp has started allowing group creators to easily dismiss group admins using the “Dismiss As Admin” option. The creators can also restrict admins from changing group icon, subject or description.
The chat app in June started letting the Android users define whether they want media from certain chats or groups to appear in their media library. The feature was originally introduced in WhatsApp beta version 2.18.194 and removed in later versions, only to reappear later.
Restriction on forwarding messages
WhatsApp was blamed a lot for being the medium for spreading of fake messages and creating an unnecessary ruckus. WhatsApp has now put a strict restriction on the number of times a message could be forwarded. Also, the forwarded messages are labeled as ‘forwarded’. It is unclear how much of an impact these changes have had on the spread of misinformation.
WhatsApp data download
To meet EU’s data privacy guidelines, WhatsApp started offering the users the ability to download all the data that the platform has collected on them. This data can be downloaded by going to Settings > Account > Request Account Info. Once done, you will be taken to a page where you have to click Request Report. The feature was launched in May.
These were the features as updated by WhatsApp. This article is a part of the ‘Best of 2018’ series. Please feel free to give your views on WhatsApp updates in the comments.