WhatsApp developers have had a busy year as the company has launched a number of new features for the platform. These features have ranged from small useful additions to the apps to larger new feature add-ons to improve the overall experience for users. In fact, the company has also introduced some new features to combat the menace of fake news and disinformation on the platform. WhatsApp is now working on adding a number of new features to the platform in the coming months. However, before the end of the year, we are revisiting the top five features that the developers added to the app in 2018.
WhatsApp stickers is probably the marquee feature that the company introduced for its users. WhatsApp finally introduced sticker support on its platform, a feature that was already present on other messaging platforms like Telegram and Hike. This new feature captured the imagination of users as it introduced a new way for users to interact with their contacts. The feature also turned out to be significant for Android and iOS app makers because of the way WhatsApp implemented along with its app.
WhatsApp group calling
The company also finally introduced group calling for its users allowing them to add more users to a call. Though the total number of users in a group call can’t exceed beyond four, this feature has turned out to be a good replacement for the cellular conference feature that most users have used. At the end of the year, the company also introduced a new group calling shortcut that makes the process of initiating a group call much easier.
Forward limit on messages
The platform faced a lot of flak this year from the government because of the role it played in the fake news problem. Malicious players have been using the platform to spread disinformation which simply adds to the problem. The problem grew to such proportion that it eventually led to multiple lynching across the country. To combat this, the company introduced a limit on the number of messages that Indian users could forward to their contact list at any given time. The company later rolled out the restriction to other countries in a recent update.
A way to detect suspicious links
In addition to the limit on the number of messages that any user could send to their contact list, the company also introduced a new feature that would warn users in case they are forwarding messages from suspicious websites. This feature is meant to focus on making users aware of what they are sharing and sending to their friends and family on WhatsApp. In case the app detects a suspicious link, it gives users two options, either to visit the link or to go back.
Last but not least, developers working at WhatsApp also introduced a new feature that finally allows users to watch videos without leaving the app. This means that they can simply tap on the video preview link if they receive a link for a Facebook, YouTube or Instagram video and tapping that will open a small window in the app. Users can also tap to make the video full screen, and don’t need to open a new app or open the browser to watch the video.