WhatsApp, the messaging app owned by Meta has been working on new features for its users.
The chat app is set to turn 20 later this year as Facebook bought it in early 2014. Over the years, they have acquired over 3 billion daily active users, especially across the global south and Europe. Over 300 billion messages and 8 billion voice messages are sent through WhatsApp.
Here are the new features they’re working on and will soon be available for the public either this week or early next month.
End-To-End Encryption Icon on Chats
WhatsApp is working to show users that their chats are indeed private and end-to-end encrypted by default and to assure users of this feature, they’re now placing the caption just under the chat head.
The new feature seen below features the padlock icon with the caption “end-to-end encrypted” next to it.
This feature is already available on the iOS app and will soon be coming to the Android app.
Passkey Support for Account Verification
To increase user’s security when accessing the app, WhatsApp is bringing passkey feature to help with account verification.
This will make signing in to your account easier and the passkey support feature will be included in the app with its own section. There will be no need to key in the 6-digit code to log in to your account.
The passkey feature is one of the many multi-factor authentication methods we highly recommend implementing even if this feature is optional.
Support for Third-Party Chat Interoperability
The EU is already reigning in big tech with the Digital Markets Act that forces gate-keeper platforms to meet interoperability requirements, especially for messaging platforms.
The EU is making big messaging platforms to interface with smaller messaging platforms which means apps like Meta will now allow a conversation to be sent from WhatsApp and be read on Telegram or Signal and vice-versa.
Now WhatsApp is working on this third-party chat feature in compliance with the DMA which means someone on Signal or Telegram can text a WhatsApp user without having a WhatsApp account and vice-versa.
The feature appears in the chat section of the app.
It’s worth noting that this feature is optional.
There was worry that the interoperability would break end-to-end encryption but the EU’s regulations call for compliance in ensuring that encryption protocols are strictly implemented as well.
Pinned Events for Community Group Chats
WhatsApp is working to solve one friction that users have in Community group chats with regard to events. The group chat section will now have an event reminder icon pinned at the top for easy access so the members remain notified.
The reminder will be for scheduled events or just for simple reminders thus removing the need to manually search for the event details.
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