the features already launched and the news to come – Tecnoblog

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O Whatsapp continues to introduce features to improve users’ experience. This year, the messenger has already implemented some interesting new features, such as support via chat within the application itself, search for nearby establishments (like Google Maps) and calls with up to 32 people. Below, I will show you all the features that have already been released in 2022 and those that are still being tested in the beta version of the app, but that should soon reach the public.

WhatsApp logo
WhatsApp (Image: Vitor Pádua/Tecnoblog)

In-app chat support

In January, WhatsApp began testing a feature that lets you contact a WhatsApp representative to resolve issues. Fortunately, this new feature was well received in the beta version and is now available to all users.

The option can be found in the messenger settings, more specifically in the “Help” menu. The answer comes through a conversation within the application itself.

However, it is important to note that WhatsApp will only return requests using a verified account. So, in case someone gets in touch after the support request, make sure the profile has the green badge.

WhatsApp support in the app (Image: Reproduction/Tecnoblog)
WhatsApp support in the app (Image: Reproduction/Tecnoblog)

Find nearby establishments

WhatsApp released another novelty in February. The update brought a feature that allows you to find nearby stores, restaurants and other commercial establishments, just like Google Maps does.

The search tool uses the user’s location to display companies registered on WhatsApp Business, providing information about the address, employee hours and contact details.

For now, the feature is only available to Android users in São Paulo. There is still no release forecast for the iPhone (iOS) and other regions of Brazil.

Resource to locate businesses nearby (Image: Disclosure)
It is possible to locate nearby businesses (Image: Disclosure/WhatsApp)

Extension to detect hacked version

In March, WhatsApp announced Code Verify, an extension for Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox that checks if the web version of the messenger has been tampered with.

Meta (owner of the application) admits that WhatsApp Web does not deliver the same security controls that exist in the Android and iOS versions of the service. So, to avoid spying problems, for example, the company released the plugin.

The tool, developed in partnership with Cloudflare, works by comparing hashes (strings of characters generated from mathematical calculations). So, when the user launches the web version, the extension checks the hash of the source code and compares it to the hash stored on Cloudflare’s servers; if they are the same, it’s all right; if they are different, some tampering has taken place.

The extension can now be downloaded for free:

Code Verify for Edge (Image: Playback/Meta)
Code Verify for Edge (Image: Playback/Meta)

Voice calls with up to 32 people

Do you like to gather your friends to chat on WhatsApp? Here’s some good news: the platform now accepts up to 32 people on the same call.

The novelty is already being distributed globally to all users. To gain access to this new limit, simply update your app to the latest version available on the Play Store or App Store.

RawPixel / mobile number / Unsplash
Person on mobile phone call (Image: RawPixel/Unsplash)

Reactions with emojis

After months of testing, WhatsApp released the feature that allows you to react messages with emojis to all users.

When tapping and holding on received content, the app now shows some options to interact without having to send a new message. For now, the platform displays a floating window with six emojis: 👍, ❤️, 😂, 😲, 😢 and 🙏. The expectation is that, over time, more figurines can be selected.

To have access to the novelty, update the messenger to the latest version available in your mobile app store.

reactions on whatsapp
Reactions on WhatsApp (Image: Disclosure)

What’s to come?

The platform has been developing other features that are not yet available or have not reached all users. One is to preview documents in conversations. The novelty allows you to view the contents of any attached file without having to open it. For example, when receiving a JPG photo as a document, the message bubble will show a small clipping of the image.

Message forwarding may also change, as the app must limit sharing to just one shot per group. If the user wants to send the same message to several groups, he will need to perform multiple shots. The company did not reveal the reason for the new rule, but based on previous changes, it is likely that the decision was made to combat misinformation.

WhatsApp has even started releasing a feature for Android phones that allows you to listen to audios while chatting with other people. This function keeps the voice message playing even in other chats. Audio appears in a small bar at the top of the screen, with buttons to pause, play and close the notification.

There are also reports that the company is developing an option to change the language of WhatsApp. With this, it will be possible to keep the application in Portuguese while the rest of the cell phone remains in English, for example.

Another novelty appeared in the beta version. Users will soon be able to upload files up to 2GB. The update seeks to facilitate the exchange of heavy files, eliminating the need to resort to other services to share.

Depending on the connection, sending a large file may take a few minutes. To put your mind at ease, WhatsApp has been working on a feature that shows how much time is left to complete the upload or download.

Although the company has made the Communities official, a function that allows bringing together groups that deal with a common subject in a single place, the novelty has not yet arrived in Brazil. Therefore, we will have to wait a little longer to have access to this tool. On the same occasion, the messenger also informed that group administrators will be able to remove messages from any member in the conversations.

WhatsApp is also preparing an option to create polls, just like Telegram. The feature will allow users to create polls in group conversations to choose a restaurant, name of a project, among other possibilities.

The Business version should get an upgrade soon. Companies using the platform will have an (optional) subscription model with extra features, including the ability to connect up to ten devices on a single account — the current limit is just four.

Another feature in beta testing is saving messages programmed to disappear. It is currently possible to make a submission disappear in 24 hours, 7 days or 90 days in both private and group chats. With this change, users will be able to keep content that would otherwise be deleted.

After easing the use of the same number on multiple devices, WhatsApp is preparing to allow the use of an account on two cell phones simultaneously. This means that with this new architecture, you will be able to use the same number on two different devices. The novelty should also cover tablets with Android.

Meta made WhatsApp Premium official, but this version still doesn’t have a date to reach the public. One of the features offered as part of the subscription is a tool that allows you to create a unique link to join conversations. Another novelty is to allow the management of conversations on up to 10 devices, increasing the current limitation of only four.

The messenger team has been working on a solution to avoid annoyance when leaving a group. Information points out that the application should limit the outgoing alert to administrators. That way, if the user decides to leave, the members will not be notified in the chat.

Companies registered on WhatsApp Business will also be informed when they violate any terms of use. The company has started testing a feature that alerts the user as soon as a breach is made, displaying a banner with a “Learn More” option, which promises to explain what could have happened to such a breach and what to do to fix errors and avoid a potential ban from the platform.

Apparently, WhatsApp Web should gain a new option to become more independent from the cell phone. The messenger is preparing a tool that allows you to select a cover in company profiles from your computer. Thus, store owners and the like will be able to customize the account to make it more attractive.

Sending a message with a typo is quite common. Therefore, the WhatsApp team is preparing a button to edit messages shared with other users. The function appeared in an experimental build of the messenger and is one of the most awaited by the public.

The company also intends to launch a feature that allows you to revert messages deleted by mistake. This new option manages to undo the individual deletion of content, something very useful in situations where the user chose the “Delete for me” button when, in fact, they wanted to press the “Delete for all” button.

To beef up security and prevent account theft, WhatsApp plans to launch a dual-verification system. The novelty is intended to make it difficult for criminals to act in a simple way: if they enter the first code, the application will alert the user, warning that someone else is trying to enter the account. To confirm the login, the platform will send another code by SMS and only then release access.

The messenger team has been developing a function to keep backups of conversations elsewhere. Within the backup settings, users will find a button to extract the file. Thus, it will be possible to save it in more places besides Google Drive. The feature description states that “all conversations and media (such as photos, videos and files) will be included”.

WhatsApp should also offer an option to control people joining groups via link. With this feature, administrators will be able to better control their collective conversations, being able to create an additional barrier to approve (or not) the entry of people.

The messenger always indicates when the user uses the application, showing all contacts the “online” status. Fortunately, the team responsible for the app is preparing an option to hide this indicator. By entering the privacy section, you will be able to define who has access to the notice: anyone, your contacts or no one.

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