WhatsApp features launched in 2021 so far: mute videos, desktop calling, and more

WhatsApp features that were expected to launch in 2021 have started rolling out

WhatsApp features that were expected to launch in 2021 have started rolling out. Most recently, the company added the much-awaited voice and video call support for desktop users. WhatsApp also added more options for users to customise the content they want to share with their contacts. This is perhaps among the many reasons why most people still prefer the Facebook-owned social messaging platform despite its controversial privacy policy that drew flak from every corner of the world. Here’s a quick look at the top WhatsApp features that have been launched in 2021 so far:

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WhatsApp features launched in 2021 so far

WhatsApp voice and video calling feature on desktop

WhatsApp features launched in 2021

It was the much-anticipated feature from WhatsApp. WhatsApp voice and video calling feature were only available on the mobile app until last year when the company started rolling out to a handful of desktop users. Now, everyone with the WhatsApp desktop app can make voice and video calls using the big screen. Right now, you can only make one-on-one voice and video calls to WhatsApp contacts from the desktop. The support for group voice and video calls will be added in the future update, suggest reports.

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Mute videos

WhatsApp now allows users to mute videos before sharing them. This is likely to avoid the embarrassment users face playing a video with full volume at a gathering. As for now, the feature is only available on WhatsApp for Android with the latest update. To mute videos –> go to the WhatsApp contact or Status screen and tap on Add to my status –> tap the Camera icon or go to the gallery to choose the video –> WhatsApp opens a preview of the video along with editing tools –> look for the mute audio icon, placed below the progress bar for the video –> tap to mute the audio and proceed to either send the video to a friend or a group or just upload it as your WhatsApp Status. That’s it!

WhatsApp Web, desktop app face and fingerprint unlock

WhatsApp Web biometric feature

WhatsApp added a layer of security for its desktop app and web recently. The company has introduced face and fingerprint unlock when linking devices to prevent unauthorized access. Before this change, one was taken straight to the QR code scanner that allows WhatsApp to be run via a browser/client. To enable this feature, open WhatsApp on your phone –> go to ‘More options’ or ‘Settings’ –> tap WhatsApp Web/Desktop and link a device –>  activate the biometric authentication from the following screen. The feature is available to both Android and iOS versions of the messaging platform.

Banner reminding you of WhatsApp’s new policy

WhatsApp rolled out an update, following the release of its controversial privacy policy and terms of use. The update added a banner on WhatsApp mobile app, allowing users to review its policy that will come into force from May 15th onwards. The policy makes it mandatory for users to share data with other Facebook companies. WhatsApp has cautioned that the accounts that do not agree to the new policy will be listed as “inactive” and these inactive accounts can be deleted after 120 days.

Upcoming WhatsApp features

Multi-device support

It’s a highly-anticipated upcoming feature from WhatsApp. The multi-device support would allow users to log in to WhatsApp on up to four devices simultaneously without the linked phone. Currently, you only login to the desktop if your linked phone has an active internet connection. The company was recently seen testing a new logout feature, which suggests that the WhatsApp multi-device support launch is just around the corner.

Self-destructing photos

After self-destructing messages, WhatsApp now plans to add self-destructing photos to its platform. The feature is said to automatically delete photos sent to a chat after a while. This appears to be similar to how Instagram’s Direct’s disappearing messages work. The WhatsApp self-destructing photo feature is currently in work and is likely to roll out on both Android and iOS versions of WhatsApp via a future update.

Read Later

WhatsApp is also working on a ‘Read Later’ feature, which will make its way to users shortly. ‘Read later’ is said to be more like Archived Chats, but only better. The feature is said to come with several improvements like no notifications for chats that are marked read later, ‘vacation mode’ to ensure that the chats work the same way as archived chats on the current stable version, edit button for customisation, and the ability to select multiple chats at once to quickly unarchive them.