WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world, used by over 1.2 billion people worldwide and 200 million in India alone. Despite its success, the Facebook-owned company has not become complacent and always keeps the competition on its toes by releasing new features every few weeks. 2017, of course, saw the overhauled WhatsApp Status (an aping of Snapchat), but there have been many other small updates this year that didn’t get as much attention. From increased media sharing limit to video streaming, we take a look at all the new WhatsApp features released this year alone. While going down this memory lane, we’ve ranked features in the order that we feel made the most impact (or will make, if in beta) in user experience.
In-app YouTube playback
WhatsApp is also testing a feature that allows users to play YouTube videos within the app. This means you will be able to watch the video without leaving the app; the video can be viewed in either picture-in-picture mode or full-screen mode. Moreover, the window can be moved around. If you want to browse through other messages inside the same WhatsApp chat, or hide the video on the side. Notably, the video playback does not continue when you change the chat. There is one more caveat to the feature as it is only available for iPhone 6 and later models.
Recall or Revoke feature
This feature is still not out in the stable version, but has been spotted on various occasions. It’s important on a chat app because it lets you recall sent messages. The feature in the many possible forms it could arrive would allow users to recall or ‘unsend’ messages they have been sent to their contacts, or even edit them. The feature, was earlier seen on iPhone beta version, and was also spotted recently on WhatsApp Web as well.
Ability to queue messages on iPhone
While WhatsApp had this ability on Android for a while now, iPhone users finally got it in January. This ability to queue messages even when in areas of poor or no connectivity was a big miss for iPhone users, as it prevented them to send messages at all in areas of poor connectivity. Now, all users can just send a WhatsApp message to a group/individual even when connectivity is unavailable, and the message will be sent automatically once they get connectivity again.
Reincarnation of Text Status
After the introduction of the new Status feature, support for the old Text Status feature was ended. This created a huge uproar among users, and the feature was then brought back on popular demand. The feature is now available for iPhone and Android users both.
Change Number and Live Location feature
Lastly but importantly, WhatsApp was recently reported to be testing a new feature on the Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile platform that could make life less painful when changing your contact number. In trying to ease the transition, it is testing a feature that will notify your friends and family about your number change for you.
The Live Location
The Live Location sharing feature was also spotted on Android beta, hinting that it will make its way to WhatsApp soon. This will presumably turn location sharing on as a broadcast – enabling contacts to see each other on a map.