WhatsApp, the world’s most popular and widely used instant messaging platform, is always in continuous development. The messaging platform continues to add new features and improve the user experience to provide its users with new and intuitive ways to connect and communicate with people. Recently, WhatsApp added the ability to chat with yourself and introduced a new feature called Polls. Similar to these, Whatsapp has announced several new features coming to the instant messaging platform. In this article, we take a look at the new WhatsApp features launched in 2022. We’ll also take a look at several new in-development features that have been spotted in the wild by the community. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
New WhatsApp features launched in 2022
1. Ability to chat with yourself
Known as ‘Message Yourself’, this new WhatsApp feature allows users to send messages, links, media, and more in a chat that is only visible to them. To replicate such a functionality, users earlier had to go create a group with someone and then remove it or enter their phone number next to the https://wa.me/91 URL, which was all way too much. With WhatsApp now supporting it natively, ‘Message Yourself’ can prove useful to create a to-do list, a shopping list, or even send media files, which can be later downloaded and accessed on WhatsApp Web or the desktop app as the chat stays wherever you log in.
2. WhatsApp polls
WhatsApp Polls allow users to create a set of options to choose from in personal or group chat. This way, members can cast their votes by picking single or multiple options related to the topic or question asked. The new WhatsApp feature can come in handy when there is confusion among group members on major decisions like which restaurant to visit. Based on the final result of the poll, members can identify the majority’s preference.
3. Quick reactions
Just like Instagram, WhatsApp now allows reactions to status (stories) and messages using emojis. To react to messages, simply select the emoji option next to them. The story’s reaction on WhatsApp works like this: view the story/ status, select the ‘reply’ button or swipe from the bottom to summon all the reaction emojis.
4. Call links
To make WhatsApp calls more reliable and functional, the messaging platform has introduced ‘Call links‘. As the name would suggest, a call link will create a link to a voice or video WhatsApp call that can be sent to anyone even outside of WhatsApp, provided they have the app installed. Those having the link can join a call according to the given date and time by the link creator. Think of it as Zoom or Google Meet conference links where members can hop on a call by just tapping on the link.
Here’s how to share WhatsApp call links: fire up the app on your smartphone (the feature hasn’t been rolled out to desktop yet), go to the call section, tap on ‘Create call links’, select the call type – voice or video, copy the link and share it with others to join.
5. Group audio calls – Muting people, adding participant
In one of the recent updates, WhatsApp has added support to mute participants in an ongoing video or voice call. This can come in handy when another person forgets to mute themselves and the background noise from their end interrupts the call. However, the muted participant can unmute themselves by tapping on the ‘unmute’ button.
Furthermore, the messaging platform now allows users to add participants in an ongoing call. WhatsApp now supports up to 32 people in a group chat.
6. Chat filters
On WhatsApp Web or the desktop app, chats can now be filtered on the basis of read and unread. This makes it easy to look at all the unread chats so as to not miss any important messages. To enable chat filters, tap on the filter icon next to the search bar and that’s it, all your unread messages will appear atop. You can disable it using the same steps.
7. Delete messages by admin
To maintain decorum in groups, Whatsapp has rolled out a new feature that allows admins to delete problematic or unnecessary messages sent in a group. This includes all kinds of messages and media including stickers, images, URLs, videos etc. To delete messages in a group chat, admins need to select the messages and tap on the ‘delete’ icon and then the ‘delete for everyone’ option. Once the admin deletes the message, it’ll no longer be available to any member of the group.
8. Up to 512 participants in a group
WhatsApp has increased the maximum limit on the number of members that can be added to a group to 512 participants. This limit was previously restricted to 256 members.
Upcoming WhatsApp features
1. Send voice notes to status
After releasing emoji reactions to statuses, WhatsApp is developing a feature that will allow users to reply to statuses through voice notes. The feature is currently live in beta for iOS users.
2. Call tab for WhatsApp Web
WhatsApp Web and the desktop app till now only showed the chats tab and the recently launched Communities section. This could change soon as in a future update, the messaging platform may finally bring the calls tab to the web version. This will make checking the call history more convenient when working on a desktop/PC without reaching out for the phone.
3. Screen lock for WhatsApp Desktop
Another crucial feature that could soon land on the WhatsApp desktop app is the ability to lock the screen with a password. Since the mobile app on both Android and iOS natively comes with the support of a biometric lock, it would make sense for the desktop version to get the same feature for security purposes.
4. Redesigned camera mode
A redesigned camera UI is said to be in development, which will segregate photo and video modes. Until now, users had to press and hold the shutter button to capture a video. With the new UI, the video mode will have its own dedicated button.
5. WhatsApp desktop media auto-download
To download media on WhatsApp desktop, users are required to tap on the ‘download’ button to save the file on their device. But with the upcoming updates, users will be able to automatically download media files through WhatsApp Web and desktop by simply turning on a toggle within the settings.
6. Setup Avatars
After making their debut on Instagram and Facebook, Avatars may soon land on WhatsApp in one of the upcoming future updates. For the uninitiated, Avatars are characters based on how a person wants to be perceived in front of others on the internet. These can be built from the scratch by incorporating facial expressions, hairstyles, outfits, and more. Consider it as Meta’s version of Bitmoji (Snapchat) or Memoji (Apple). When the feature rolls out, WhatsApp users may set their Avatars as profile pictures or even send them as stickers to others in personal or group chats.
7. Profile photos in Group chats
Unlike other messaging apps, WhatsApp doesn’t show the sender’s profile picture in group chats be it on the mobile app or the web version. A future update could change that, making it easy to identify a group member’s message.
8. New blur tool for images
Currently, WhatsApp supports a couple of editing tools when sharing images such as adding shapes and stickers. A new blur tool is said to be in development in which users may be able to blur out the contents of an image to hide certain confidential or personal information such as an address, email ID, phone number, etc.
So, these were some of the features that WhatsApp seems to be working on for 2023. As noted above, WhatsApp is continuously in development and the instant messaging platform constantly tests new features, some make it to the stable version of WhatsApp and others get shelved. But we hope some of the more useful features stick around and land in the stable version.