One of my favourite features on Telegram Messenger, a WhatsApp alternative for many of us, is that I am able to get a preview of just about anything shared to me as a URL/link by my contacts or posted in any of the groups I belong to or channels I subscribe to. From tweets to Instagram photos to just plain links to news items and other articles. And the functionality even extends to rich media like videos as well. Finally, WhatsApp users will get a feel of what they’ve been missing out on soon.
A version of WhatsApp accessible on the main website brings with it the ability to preview shared links. Just like Telegram, this happens just before you even hit ‘send’. You as a sender get a preview of how the link will show up on when finally posted. This gives one the ability to either yank the preview (by clicking the X) or go ahead with it if they like what they see. This works only for URLs and not just about any link. For instance in the case of links that point to images, you still won’t get a preview of the image(s) in question like you’ll do if you were on Telegram. Still, this is a great first step, and who knows? May be by the time this update is available to everyone through the Play Store this would be possible.
WhatsApp just recently started making the ability to backup chats and media to the cloud (via Google Drive) after several months of on and off testing. If this is anything to go by, it may be a while before rich previews become accessible to everybody but we guess it would be worth the wait.
Besides the WhatsApp website, the application that supports rich previews can also be found on APK Mirror.