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  1. The WhatsApp Desktop app for Windows has been updated, it is now a native UWP app. It replaces the old web-app version. The messaging service, owned by Meta, released a beta version of the UWP app in November last year. You can read more about it here. What's new in WhatsApp Desktop The app is faster, and you can tell it right from the get-go. That's basically because it is not an Electron app anymore. The performance improvements are welcome, as are the notification badges. Speaking of which, notifications arrive instantly in the new app, and you don't need the program running in the background either. The interface of WhatsApp Desktop has been revamped, it now resembles a native Windows 10 program. The app has a light theme and a dark theme that you can switch to from the Settings. The old version of the messaging app would only work if your phone was online, it was a requirement to synchronize your chats between the devices. This limitation was also true for the WhatsApp Web version that is accessible via web browsers. The new WhatsApp Desktop app is a proper standalone program, it no longer requires your phone to be connected to the internet, in other words it supports multiple devices just like its rival, Telegram. Your chats are still end-to-end encrypted, which is a good thing. Note: There is a device limit, you can use WhatsApp on up to 4 linked devices and a phone at the same time. Download the WhatsApp Desktop app from the Microsoft Store. It requires Windows 10 14316.0 or higher. New users will need to scan a QR code using WhatsApp on your phone, to sign in on your PC. If you already have the Electron app installed on your computer, it will be upgraded to the UWP version. You can use it alongside the beta version, but you may want to disable notifications in one of the apps, otherwise you will be bombarded with double notifications for every message that you receive. WhatsApp for macOS WhatsApp states that a native app for macOS is in development. If you have a Mac, you can opt in to the Testflight program to participate in the beta. Unfortunately, the slots in the beta are full already, so you may have to wait for a while to try it. I've been using the regular beta app for a few months on my MacBook, it's based on Electron (web-based) and looks similar to the Windows version, except for some visual elements such as the colors and button styles. Its performance, however, is quite poor, it's slow to open, and there is a delay while messages are synced between devices, and notifications don't arrive immediately. WABetaInfo says that the new WhatsApp macOS beta version is built on Catalyst technology, which means the app is actually a port of the iPad version. So, we can expect it to offer better performance while using fewer resources. The app has a refreshed design that introduces a new sidebar to quickly access Chats, Calls, Archived Chats, Starred Messages, etc. Do you use WhatsApp on your computer? WhatsApp Desktop gets a native UWP version on Windows; macOS app in the works
  2. New features based on user requests and quality of life improvements are continuously added to WhatsApp. We recently saw the arrival of reactions in the social messaging app, which allows people to quickly engage with messages without having to type something out. Now, it seems that Meta is adding a very useful configuration to WhatsApp, enabling people to hide their online status. Although WhatsApp allows you to hide your "Last seen" status already, this is not a perfect implementation as someone can still open a chat window with you and monitor when you come online. This is particularly problematic if someone is stalking you or even if you just want to avoid interactions with anyone while still being able to see your messages. According to reliable outlet WABetaInfo, Meta is remedying this issue by introducing a configuration that will allow you to decide how visible you want your online status to be. Here's how the outlet describes the options it discovered, which can also be seen in the screenshot at the top of the article: It will be possible to configure who can see when we are online right within our last seen settings thanks to two new options: "Everyone" and "Same as Last Seen". For example, if you choose "My contacts" for "Last Seen" and “Same as Last Seen" for "online", it means non-contacts won’t be able to see when you’re online. While the options in the current implementation are quite limited, it's possible that Meta may expand them to cover more use-cases before, and if, the feature becomes generally available. Although the screenshot procured by WABetaInfo is from the iOS app, it's natural to assume that the capability will also arrive on Android, web, and desktop at some point. That said, there is no word on availability yet as the feature has not even been seeded to the WhatsApp Beta app. Source and original image: WABetaInfo WhatsApp may finally allow you to hide your online status soon
  3. WhatsApp is working on a new capability for the users to be able to use avatars as their profile photos in the instant chat messaging service. Renowned leaker WABetainfo spotted the upcoming feature on the WhatsApp Android app a couple of days ago, but that does not mean it will be limited to Android users. According to the leaker, avatar profile photos will be available on other platforms as well. Avatar profile photo is all about letting users choose their perfect avatar. As can be seen in the screenshot, users will also be able to select the background color of their choosing while creating avatars. It is not just the profile photo section where the instant chat messaging platform will introduce avatar support. The chat messenger is also working on another functionality that will allow users to use avatars as a mask while placing video calls. Currently, these features are not available for beta testers, meaning you can not test them even after registering as a beta member. But it is highly likely WhatsApp will introduce these new functionalities to beta users first. Unfortunately, though, we do not know when it will go live for beta testers or the general public. Apart from avatar profile photos, WhatsApp will also introduce new privacy features to its chat messenger, and these will probably be available very soon. Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg recently announced three important features to protect. These include the ability to exit group chats without notifying others, control who can see when you are online, and prevent screenshots on view once messages. You can learn more about these features here. If you are using WhatsApp, which upcoming features are the most exciting to you? Also, if you have suggestions or a feature idea, you can tell us in the comments section. Avatar profile photo may come to WhatsApp soon
  4. The newer privacy features include the ability to leave groups silently, choose who can see when you’re online and screenshot blocking for view once messages. In many countries of the world, WhatsApp is synonymous with messaging. Really, each and every phone in these countries contain WhatsApp and most people make a daily use of it. WhatsApp for long has remained the number one app in app stores. Now with the launch of WhatsApp web not requiring any active smartphone connection, its usage has reached computers too. The regular usage of any app means security and privacy of the users needs to be taken care of. To improve them is always a progressive effort which gets done over the time. Looks like the upcoming updates to WhatsApp takes that further. In a blog post, WhatsApp has announced new privacy features for its chat client. Three main improvements have been announced. These improvements include the ability to leave groups silently, choose who can see when you’re online and screenshot blocking for view once messages. Official Announcement The official announcement and explanation for each of the features is as follows: Leave Groups Silently: We love our group chats but some are not forever. We’re making it possible to exit a group privately without making it a big deal to everyone. Now, instead of notifying the full group when you are leaving, only the admins will be notified. This feature will start to roll out to all users this month. Choose Who Can See When You’re Online: Seeing when friends or family are online helps us feel connected to one another, but we’ve all had times when we wanted to check our WhatsApp privately. For the moments you want to keep your online presence private, we’re introducing the ability to select who can and can’t see when you’re online. This will start rolling out to all users this month. Screenshot Blocking For View Once Messages: View Once is already an incredibly popular way to share photos or media that don’t need to have a permanent digital record. Now we’re enabling screenshot blocking for View Once messages for an added layer of protection. We’re testing this feature now and are excited to roll it out to users soon. It also posted a short video on Twitter showing the same. To take the point further, it explained the same in even simpler terms in the followup Tweets: WhatsApp privacy update message on Twitter. Honestly, these features are much welcomed. Hopefully the improvements in the privacy continues. WhatsApp Announces More Upcoming Privacy Features
  5. It's been a while since the Meta-owned company introduced a major change to the status functionality. Back in 2017, WhatsApp's “text only” status feature evolved into something that allowed users to share photos and videos with their friends and contacts on the platform easily and securely. And after almost five years, it's once again planning to revamp the status feature. WABetainfo has spotted support for voice notes in status on WhatsApp beta for Android 2.22.16.3. Besides photos and videos, users will also be able to share their voice notes as status updates once the voice notes support goes live for everyone. The instant chat messenger may call it “voice status.” As can be seen in the screenshot, a new microphone icon is at the bottom of the status page to let users record their voice notes. Below the microphone icon are the options to send text, photos, and videos as status updates, which you already know. It's also important to note that voice notes you post as statuses are end-to-end encrypted, just like photos and videos. Also, “voice status” will be shared with those you chose in the status privacy setting, just like how you limit the reach of your WhatsApp status currently. The support for voice notes is currently under development and not available for WhatsApp beta testers, nor can we tell anything about when it will be introduced. But it will certainly not be limited to Android users only. Meanwhile, WhatsApp has introduced the full emoji keyboard for Reactions, allowing users to react with their chosen emojis and skin tones. Hopefully, we'll continue to get exciting new features such as this in the future. Source and image: WABetainfo WhatsApp to let you post voice notes to status updates
  6. The WhatsApp Beta UWP app has a received a new update in version 2.2225.2.0 that adds a modern context menu for selected text in chats. This will allow users to do some basic text formatting when composing messages to contacts, with options such as Italics, Bold, Strikethrough, and even formatted font for such things where it is relevant, like sharing code. Before After Thanks to Microsofters on Twitter who spotted this update, you can see above in our before/after images the difference between the context menus in the chat window between version 2.2225.2.0 and the previous version. The context menu can also be collapsed so that the Copy, Cut, Paste, Undo and Select All options are all hidden, and this is remembered between chat sessions. Unfortunately, since both Facebook Meta, (who owns WhatsApp) and Microsoft does not provide release notes or a history, it is unclear what else was changed with this latest update. But you can grab it right now from the Microsoft Store here. Some of the exciting features the Meta-owned company recently added include message reactions, sending voice notes, and limited one-time view for media shares, as well as emoji shortcuts, dark mode support, the ability to filter and archive your chats, and many more. If you're a WhatsApp user, do you use the beta app on your Windows 11/10 PC? Does this new text formatting context menu make the app more useful to you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. WhatsApp Beta for Windows gets full option modern context menu for chats
  7. In case they forgot to mute themselves WhatsApp has rolled out several new features this past week, including the ability to mute people during group calls (via Android Central). This sanity-saving feature seems helpful not just for muting people who forget to do it themselves, but also if you’re in the same room as someone who’s also on the call and don’t want to hear an echo of what they say. While some conferencing apps, like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, let hosts mute all participants (or specific ones), they typically don’t offer a way for individual users to mute whoever they want during a call. This feature offers a new level of control that’s probably best saved for chaotic meetings that involve up to the maximum of eight people on video calls — or up to 32 on voice calls. In addition to the new muting feature, WhatsApp now lets you message specific people while on a group call, perhaps if you want to make a note to someone during a meeting or crack a joke that might not fly with the whole group. WhatsApp is also rolling out a new banner that will alert you when someone new has joined a call after it already started. The messaging service is building up more than just its group calling feature. On Friday, WhatsApp announced that you can now choose which contacts can see your profile photo, about, and last seen status that shows when you were last active on the platform. This could help keep your profile private from professional contacts, or anyone who you don’t want to have access to this information 24 / 7. Last year, WhatsApp began hiding your last seen status from strangers by default due to potential privacy implications. Earlier this week, WhatsApp finally rolled out the ability for Android users to transfer their chat histories to iPhone after the company initially started letting users transfer their conversation data in the opposite direction (from iPhone to Android) last year. WhatsApp now lets you mute individual users during group calls
  8. Message reactions for WhatsApp have been in the developing phase for months, the feature was finally launched for the general public last month for Android, iOS, and web users. It's taken another month for the company to bring support for reactions to its UWP-based beta app on Windows 10 and 11. WhatsApp Beta UWP is finally getting support for reactions with the latest update. It's no different than what you've already seen on the Android and iOS clients. You'll see an emoticon beside every message received, and you can react to it using a number of emojis, including Heart, Thumbs up, Face with mouth open, Face with tears of joy, Person with folded hands, and Crying face. Reactions are not just about letting users react with certain emojis. WhatsApp also allows users to see who reacted to their messages. This is particularly helpful when you're messaging on various groups. You can see the number of people who reacted to your messages just by clicking on the emojis. Notably, this is not a phased rollout, which means anyone running WhatsApp Beta version 2.2223.11.0 can react using the aforementioned emojis. Meta will introduce more emojis and skin tones sometime in the future, and it's quite likely that they will be available to Android and iOS users first. But it ideally shouldn't take more than a month to bring those changes to the UWP beta app as well. You can download the WhatsApp Beta UWP app from the Microsoft Store or click here to go to the app download page directly. WhatsApp Beta UWP gets reactions feature in latest update
  9. The WhatsApp Beta UWP app has recently received a couple of nifty new features that make the app a lot more usable. The Meta-owned chat messenger is now pushing the voice recorder and 'view once' capabilities to its UWP app with the latest update. WhatsApp Beta can now send your voice notes to all your WhatsApp contacts. As can be seen in the image below, you can now see a voice recorder icon on the right side of the text editor. Click on the icon to start recording, or you can also go ahead and delete your voice note midway if you don't like what you're saying. However, there is no option to pause your recording to get a preview of a draft of your message. Another nifty new feature is related to user privacy. WhatsApp Beta UWP now comes with an option to allow senders to send photos and videos that can be viewed once. After receivers view the message, the photos or videos will automatically disappear. Unfortunately, as is the case with WhatsApp Android, iOS, and web clients, users can bypass this privacy measure by taking a screenshot or by using a screen recorder. 'View once' and voice recorder are also available on WhatsApp Web. In fact, the WhatsApp web client has had these features for months. Nevertheless, both the capabilities are pretty useful and could convince many users to finally use the app on their Windows 11 and 10 PCs. Some of the exciting features the Meta-owned company recently added include emoji shortcuts, dark mode support, the ability to filter and archive your chats, and many more. Hopefully, WhatsApp will continue to introduce enhancements to its UWP app to make it on par with its Android and iOS counterparts. If you're a WhatsApp user, do you use the beta app on your Windows 11/10 PC? Do the new voice recorder and 'view once' features make the app more useful to you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. WhatsApp Beta UWP app gets two nifty new features
  10. We sometimes become too busy conveying our messages that we don't pay much attention to what we've written. You currently have no way to correct those mistakes in WhatsApp by editing your previous texts. Nevertheless, the Meta-owned company may soon add the capability to its chat messenger app across all platforms. As spotted by WABetainfo, WhatsApp is working on a new feature that allows users to edit their texts. It sounds very similar to the one Twitter is working on, but they are not the same. Unlike Twitter, WhatsApp may not keep an edit history to allow users to check the previous versions of the edited messages. We also do not know whether WhatsApp will inform the recipient that the sender has made an edit to the message. Skype lets you edit your texts and informs the receiver that an amendment has been made. Also, it's not entirely clear whether there will be an editing time limit. In Skype, editing a message is available within the first 60 minutes. Twitter will have an editing time limit, too, according to rumors. The feature was first spotted on the WhatsApp Android app, but WABetainfo says the Meta-owned company is working towards bringing the same edit option to WhatsApp beta for iOS and Desktop. The editing capability is currently under development, meaning it's not available for beta testers nor the general public. But it's likely that beta testers will get it before anyone else. Earlier this month, WhatsApp introduced several new features, including reactions, large file transfers, bigger groups, and more. The Meta-owned company will keep adding new features to make it a better platform. WhatsApp will soon let you edit your texts
  11. Last week, WhatsApp clarified that it’d stop supporting some older versions of iOS to ensure that all the latest features are implemented on the app. And the Meta-owned company is working on many new features, including a small but exciting one called the status reply indicator. As first spotted by WABetainfo, WhatsApp’s new status reply indicator is built to help users know which latest messages are a reply to their status on the app. The instant chat messenger will show a new icon when the message is a reply to a status update, helping you recognize them without opening the chat. The instant chat messenger company seems to be internally testing the feature and may or may not release it to the general public, depending on its assessment of whether it will be useful for users. Nevertheless, WABetainfo has posted a screenshot of the new icon that will appear when the message is a reply to a status. You can see the screenshot below. The status reply indicator icon was first spotted on the WhatsApp desktop app, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be available for iOS and Android. According to WABetainfo, the Meta-owned company is working on releasing the feature on WhatsApp beta for Android and iOS in the next few days. Meanwhile, the Meta-owned company recently announced several new features, including 32-person audio calls, the ability to view status updates in the chat list, the ability to use a single WhatsApp account on multiple devices, and more. The company is also working on a new feature that will allow users to leave WhatsApp groups silently. These features are in the development phase and will be available for the general public once ready. You can read about them in more detail here. Do you think the status reply indicator will be a useful feature for WhatsApp users? You can share your thoughts in the comments. WhatsApp is working on a status reply indicator
  12. WhatsApp is working on a new feature that will enable users to leave the group silently. As per a report from WABetainfo, the Meta-owned chat messenger will notify only the admins when a group participant leaves the group when the feature becomes available. As things stand right now, WhatsApp notifies everyone in the group with an auto-generated message when someone leaves the group. With the arrival of the new feature, things will be a bit different because only admins will be notified, and no such auto-generated message will be shown to other group participants. WABetainfo has posted a screenshot explaining how it will work. When participants choose to leave a group, WhatsApp will tell them that it won’t notify everyone except the group admin. Image: WABetainfo The above screenshot is from the desktop client, but that doesn’t mean its Android and iOS client won’t get the feature. WABetainfo claims that the feature will be available on WhatsApp across all platforms. WhatsApp will roll out the capability in the future update. However, we don’t know when it will be available. The ability to leave the group is in the development stage, meaning users cannot use the feature right now. Meanwhile, WhatsApp will keep working on new features to make the chat messenger more useful. The instant chat messenger recently introduced several new features, including message reactions, file sharing improvements, the ability to add as many as 512 people in a group, The Meta-owned company recently announced several new features, including 32-person audio calls, the ability to view status updates in the chat list, the ability to use a single WhatsApp account on multiple devices, and more. These features are in the development phase and will be available for the general public once ready. You can read about them in more detail here. WhatsApp will soon allow users to leave groups silently
  13. Last month, WhatsApp announced a bunch of new features to help people and groups stay close to one another. The Meta-owned company is now rolling out all those new features to the users. WhatsApp is now rolling out emoji reactions to the latest version of the app. However, the company will continue improving them by adding a boarded range of expressions in the future. Currently, users can use only a handful number of reactions. Another new feature is allowing users to send files within WhatsApp up to 2GB in size at a time. Previously, the file limit was 100MB. The company recommends using WiFi for larger files, and the app will show how long the file transfer will take. The Meta-owned chat messenger has also expanded the ability to add more people to a group. Admins will now be able to add as many as 512 people to a group. WhatsApp has been working on these changes for quite some time now, and the company has finally started rolling out them to the users. In other WhatsApp-related news, the Meta-owned company recently announced several new features, including 32-person audio calls, the ability to view status updates in the chat list, the ability to use a single WhatsApp account on multiple devices, and more. These features are in the development phase and will be available for the general public once ready. You can read about them in more detail here. Which upcoming features are you most excited about? You can let us know in the comments below. WhatsApp introduces message reactions, file sharing improvements, and more
  14. WhatsApp has announced that reactions, large file transfers, and bigger groups are now supported on the app in its latest update. With reactions, group chats should be less cluttered, the larger 2GB file transfer limit, from 100MB, should make the feature more useful, and the ability to add up to 512 people to a group should help organisations leverage WhatsApp in new ways. The introduction of reactions to WhatsApp comes just months after Telegram added exactly the same feature, it’s not the first time Meta has lifted features directly from Telegram but if it wants to stay competitive then it does need to reach near feature parity. Being able to respond to messages with reactions should remove the need to people to respond with a message quite so much which should reduce clutter. The second feature WhatsApp is adding is the ability to send files of up to 2GB. The limit had previously been set to 100MB but in this day and age, that amount is a bit low. Without trying to labour the point about WhatsApp cloning Telegram features, Telegram actually introduced a 2GB limit on file sharing way back in July 2020. Finally, WhatsApp has increased its group size limit to 512 members which should make it more useful for organisations. For example, a school could create a group for parents to send out important messages. For those wondering whether WhatsApp has copied Telegram again, the answer is no. Since 2019, Telegram has allowed for groups with 200,000 members. WhatsApp's latest update introduces reactions, large file transfers, and bigger groups
  15. The ability to view status updates in the chat list is a feature that is coming to the WhatsApp desktop. We reported about this a few days ago. We also mentioned that the company could add the same capability to iOS and Android users at a later date. Today, publisher WABetainfo has confirmed that status updates in the chat list are in the works for WhatsApp iOS client. WhatsApp currently has a separate section in the app to let users view status updates, but with the arrival of status in the chat list, users will never have to worry about missing updates as they will be right in front of their eyes in the chat window. If you’re using Instagram, you are already familiar with the feature. WABetainfo has also shared a screenshot of the UI, showing how the feature will work on the instant chat messenger iOS client. The website also confirms that status updates in the chat list will also be available on WhatsApp Android in the future. Hopefully, the website will soon post images showing how the same thing will work on Android. However, it shared nothing on the availability of the feature. Image: WABetainfo Status updates in the chat list are still in the development phase, so don’t expect them to appear on your WhatsApp iOS app. Since the feature has been spotted on the app, the company shouldn’t take much longer to make it available to the public. We will, of course, let you know when that happens. In other WhatsApp-related news, the Meta-owned company recently announced several new features, including Message reactions, Communities, the ability for admins to delete inappropriate messages in a group, File sharing improvements, 32-person audio calls, and more. These features are coming to WhatsApp in the coming weeks. You can read about them in more detail here. WhatsApp iOS app will get status updates on the chat list too
  16. Last week, we reported WhatsApp was working towards adding a new Instagram feature to its chat platform. But aside from the “Quick Reactions,” the company has one more Instagram feature in mind that it wants to add in the future. According to the popular WhatsApp update tracker, WABetainfo, the Meta-owned company is working on a new feature that will allow users to view status updates within the chat list. Instagram users can already view status updates within the list of their private chats. A similar capability will soon become available for WhatsApp users. However, WABetainfo has shared nothing on the possible release date of the feature. Image: WABetainfo WABetainfo is a reliable source. The publication has a decent track record of leaking upcoming WhatsApp features way before the company announces them. The ability to view status updates within the chat list was first spotted on WhatsApp Desktop, but the publisher claims Android and iOS users will get the update too. The feature is currently under development, so it isn’t available for daily users. The Meta-owned chat messenger company will test it with beta testers before planning a wider rollout. Whatever the case may be, we’ll keep you updated about every new feature coming to the instant chat messenger in the future, so keep visiting MSPoweruser.com. In other WhatsApp-related news, the Meta-owned company recently announced several new features, including Message reactions, Communities, the ability for admins to delete problematic messages in a group, File sharing improvements, 32-person audio calls, and more. These features are coming to WhatsApp in the coming weeks. You can read about them in more detail here. WhatsApp will soon let users view status updates within chat list
  17. Going beyond the computer WhatsApp seems to be working on a feature that would let users chat with the same account on multiple phones, or on a phone and a tablet, according to a screen found in a beta version of the app by the site WABetaInfo. The screen gives instructions for registering the device you’re using as a “companion” by scanning a code with your main phone — though currently there doesn’t appear to be an actual code to scan. A screen found in a previous beta showed that devices could be getting the ability to sync recent messages, even though they’re end-to-end encrypted. That screen, combined with the “Register Device as Companion” screen that instructs users on how to use WhatsApp on another device, adds up to compelling evidence that this feature is in the works. Both screens have been found in the Android version of the app, which implies that the feature will support chatting on a secondary phone or tablet. At the moment it’s unclear if the feature will also be available on iOS if and when it launches, though there is precedent indicating it will. WhatsApp technically supports using your account on multiple devices already, via the Linked Devices feature, which currently only supports using computers as secondary devices. The feature is available on both iOS and Android. WhatsApp rolled out Linked Devices as a public beta in November 2021, and has improved on it since then (though there are still a few unsupported features, depending on what your main device is). But while Linked Devices is handy for desktop users, it doesn’t do much for those with secondary smartphones or tablets. Meta, WhatsApp’s parent company, didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for further details on its plans to expand the Linked Devices feature to support mobile devices as well. WhatsApp seems to be working on multi-phone and tablet chatting
  18. Meta owns WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook, but these platforms have a lot in common beyond the fact that the same company owns them. You can see a lot of similar features on these platforms. Now, Meta is making another effort to bring an exciting Instagram feature to WhatsApp. As spotted by WABetainfo, the WhatsApp developer team is currently working on what’s called “Quick Reactions.” It allows users to quickly send an emoji while viewing a status update. The quick reaction is sent in the chat as a simple emoji message. If you’re an Instagram user, you’ve already used “Quick Reactions.” WABetainfo spotted “Quick Reactions” on WhatsApp Desktop, but the publication believes that it will also be available for its Android and iOS clients in the future. The ability to quickly react to status updates is under development at this moment, so we can’t see these emojis right now. As for which emojis will be available for users, WABetainfo spotted eight emojis, including Smiling Face with Heart-Eyes, Face with Tears of Joy, Face with Open Mouth, Crying Face, Folded Hands, Clapping Hands, Party Popper, and Hundred Points. The website shared no information on when these reactions will be available for the general public. But it seems that the instant chat messenger will test it with beta users before making it available for a wider set of people. In other WhatsApp-related news, the Meta-owned company recently announced several new features, including Message reactions, Communities, the ability for admins to delete problematic messages in a group, File sharing improvements, 32-person audio calls, and more. These features are coming to WhatsApp in the coming weeks. You can read about them in more detail here. WhatsApp may soon get this Instagram feature
  19. With more than 2 billion users, WhatsApp is the most popular end-to-end encrypted communication platform in the world. The company says that throughout the Covid-19 pandemic users have expanded how they communicate on the platform—coming together to cope with challenges from parenting and schooling to mutual aid and political organizing. In response, WhatsApp announced on Thursday that it is developing a new suite of features, known as “Communities,” that will allow the app to function more like productivity software, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams. In addition to the DMs and group chats that are already available, users will be able to bundle sets of group chats together under the umbrella of an organization or common theme. Communities will be housed in a tab separate from the standard WhatsApp landing page and will offer a way to organize disparate channels. These groupings will also have new features for administrators so they can send messages to an entire community and add and remove sub-groups. WhatsApp says it is beginning limited beta testing of Communities now, with support for both iOS and Android, so it can get input before finalizing the feature. “We’ve been using Communities ourselves internally for the last few months as we got all the pieces in place, and that’s been helping us find things we know we need and additions to make,” says Will Cathcart, Meta’s head of WhatsApp. “But I think it’ll be particularly helpful for us to have other communities around the world that are dealing with very different types of problems and challenges use it, because we’ll get feedback that better matches a much broader range of needs than just what we’re going to get from our own team.” End-to-end encrypted communication services like WhatsApp offer users privacy and security assurances because the platforms are designed so the companies that run them can't access the content of users' messages and calls. This means, though, that abusive and illegal communications also receive that same protection, a challenge that has plagued WhatsApp and other platforms. The company has attempted to limit the spread of disinformation using tools like forwarding limits and reporting mechanisms to approach the problem from different angles. With Communities, Cathcart says, there's potential to further improve these issues by empowering administrators who have a more nuanced understanding of their organizations or groups and creating structures that can flag potentially abusive behavior. Users will have to be invited to join Communities—they won't simply be able to search for open, free-for-all channels, as they are in services like Telegram. And Cathcart says WhatsApp will be expanding its forwarding limits to Communities, so messages that have already been forwarded can only be forwarded again to one group at a time. WhatsApp already has access to “metadata” about users' communications—things like the account name, IP address, and timestamp associated with each message. Similarly, Communities will be end-to-end encrypted but allow WhatsApp to see metadata and some information about how a Community is organized. “While the communication is private, there will be some bits of information we do have," Cathcart says. "Today we do have the name of group chats, and we see the profile picture for them. We'll also know the name of the community and some of the structure there. And we've had a lot of success using anti-abuse techniques on that data, combined with the reports we do get from people. We think that's a good model where we're able to solve some of the anti-abuse problems without violating people's privacy and seeing their private communications.” WhatsApp's parent company, Meta, recently outlined this approach in great detail through an independent report the company commissioned about the human rights impacts of end-to-end encryption—and its own response to that report. Though it will take time to complete a beta test of Communities, some of the features WhatsApp built for it will be coming to the regular service in the next few weeks. Cathcart says emoji reactions for individual messages and the ability to send files that are up to 2 gigabytes will roll out soon. WhatsApp will also start supporting larger group voice calls with up to 32 participants. And group admins will be able to remove messages from the group at their discretion. Communities will be a massive expansion of what WhatsApp is and can be. And while the company is certainly not the first to attempt end-to-end encrypted productivity chat, it's certainly the biggest—by a couple of billion people. WhatsApp Doubles Down With End-to-End Encrypted ‘Communities’ (May require free registration to view)
  20. After a few months of testing the Communities and Message reactions feature, the Meta-owned company is finally getting ready to roll out these features for the general public. Message reactions enable people to share their opinion without flooding chats with new messages. Users will be able to react with thumbs up, heart, laughter, surprise, crying, and the folded hands emoji. The feature is already available for some beta testers and will soon be rolled out to the general public. Aside from the Message reactions feature, WhatsApp has also announced the Communities feature. For those unaware, Communities bring together separate groups under one umbrella. Admins will be able to send announcement messages to everyone and have control over which groups can be included. To promote healthy conversations in a group, WhatsApp is adding the ability for admins to delete problematic messages in a group. This will promote a more peaceful chat room and will also discourage misinformation campaigns propagated through various WhatsApp groups. Moreover, WhatsApp is also improving the File Sharing feature, enabling users to share files up to 2 gigabytes. According to WhatsApp, the increase in file sharing up to 2GB will help people easily collaborate on projects. The Meta-owned company has also announced a one-tap voice calling for up to 32 people. However, it is worth mentioning that the Message reactions, the ability for admins to delete messages, 32-person audio calls, and file sharing up to 2GB will be available in the “coming weeks.” Meanwhile, the Communities feature will go live later, though the company hasn’t mentioned the timeline for when it will be available for the general public. Do our readers use WhatsApp? If yes, then which above feature(s) sounds more useful to you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. WhatsApp announces a bunch of new features
  21. The UWP-based WhatsApp Beta app for Windows 11 and Windows 10 has become more useful in the last couple of months as the Meta-owned company has been adding new features on a regular basis through app updates. The beta app has once again received an update, and with it came a missing feature, Archived Chats. WhatsApp's Android and iOS clients let you create as well as view your archived chats. The feature is also available on the WhatsApp Web client. But for some reason, the ability to view archived chats was in the list of features that were missing in the WhatsApp Beta app until today. With the latest update installed, WhatsApp's UWP app will allow users to view their archived chats and let them create an archive of chats. Also, there exists an option to unarchive chats if need be, however chats are unarchived automatically if a participant sends a new message to it. However, since the feature is still in the testing phase, you might encounter some issues while using the feature. As noted by WABetainfo, the action to unarchive a chat may not always refresh the chat list. Hopefully, WhatsApp will issue a fix in one of the upcoming app updates. As for how the feature works, to archive a chat, you need to do a right-click on the chat you want to archive, and doing so will reveal an option called 'Archive.' Click on it archive the chat. The latest WhatsApp Beta update carries version number 2.2213.3.0 and is available via Microsoft Store. WhatsApp will continue to add more new features to the WhatsApp Beta for desktops. One of the most awaited WhatsApp features is the ability to react to messages. The feature was rolled out to the WhatsApp beta app for Android last month and will be available for desktop users in the coming days. Source: WABetainfo WhatsApp Beta Windows client gains Archive feature with the latest update
  22. A new WhatsApp phishing campaign impersonating WhatsApp's voice message feature has been discovered, attempting to spread information-stealing malware to at least 27,655 email addresses. This phishing campaign aims to lead the recipient through a series of steps that will ultimately end with the installation of an information-stealing malware infection, opening the way to credential theft. Information-stealing malware is aggressively distributed today via various means, with phishing remaining a primary channel for threat actors. The information stolen by these special-purpose malware tools is predominately account credentials stored in browsers and applications but also targets cryptocurrency wallets, SSH keys, and even files stored on the computer. WhatsApp voice messages as a lure The new WhatsApp voice message phishing campaign was discovered by researchers at Armoblox, who are constantly on the lookout for new phishing threats. For years, WhatsApp has had the ability to send voice messages to users in groups and private chats, with the feature receiving new enhancements last week. A timely phishing attack pretends to be a notification from WhatsApp stating that they received a new private message. This email features an embedded “Play” button and audio clip duration and creation time details. The sender, masquerading as a "Whatsapp Notifier" service, is using an email address belonging to the Center for Road Safety of the Moscow Region. The phishing email impersonating WhatsApp (Armoblox) Due to this being a genuine and legitimate entity, the messages aren't flagged or blocked by email security solutions, which typically is the biggest problem for phishing actors. Armoblox believes this is a case of the hackers having somehow exploited the domain to promote their purpose, so the organization plays a role without knowledge. If the recipient clicks on the "Play" button in the message body, they are redirected to a website that serves an allow/block prompt for installing a JS/Kryptic trojan. To trick the victim into clicking on "Allow," the threat actors display a web page stating that you need to click 'Allow' to confirm you are not a robot. However, clicking these allow buttons will subscribe the user to browser notifications that send in-browser advertisements for scams, adult sites, and malware. The website that installs the malware (Armoblox) This simple trick can be very effective with people who are not consciously aware or thinking twice about their actions online. Once the “allow” option is pressed, the browser will prompt the user to install the payload, which in this case is an information-stealing malware. How to protect yourself The fact that the emails in this campaign bypassed numerous secure email solutions makes it a particularly nasty case, but the clues that it was phishing were still abundant. First, the email address has nothing to do with WhatsApp, and the same goes for the landing URL that requests the victims to click “Allow” to confirm they’re real. They are both obviously out of WhatsApp’s domain space. Secondly, voice messages received on WhatsApp are downloaded automatically in the client app, so the IM company would never inform you about receiving one via email. Thirdly, the phishing email features no WhatsApp logo, which is almost certainly to avoid having trouble with the VMC checks introduced by Gmail last year. To protect yourself from phishing attempts, always take your time to look into potential signs of fraud when receiving messages that make surprising claims, and never jump into action. If you need to check something, do it yourself through the official website or application, and never by following URLs or instructions provided in the message. WhatsApp voice message phishing emails push info-stealing malware
  23. Higher-speed listening without being tied to a chat WhatsApp announced on Wednesday that it will roll out some improvements to voice messages over the coming weeks, including the ability to listen to a message while reading other chats and play messages at 1.5 or 2 times speed (yes, please, put this feature everywhere). The experience of recording messages is also improving. WhatsApp now lets you pause and resume your recording, so you don’t have to leave large gaps of silence if you’re thinking of what to say next or redo a recording if you need to have a brief conversation in real life. You’ll also be able to listen to a message before you send it to make sure you didn’t accidentally get cut off or include something you didn’t want to. An example of what the new voice chat UI looks like. Image: WhatsApp There’s also a slight aesthetic improvement. Instead of just using a line to show your voice message playback progress, WhatsApp will now use a waveform of the actual message. Plus, WhatsApp can remember where you were when you paused playback and let you start playing back from that point again so you don’t have to re-listen to an entire message. These improvements will likely get a lot of use — WhatsApp says that users send an average of 7 billion voice chats a day. While some similar features were already available in other apps (Telegram, for example, has let you listen to messages outside chats for a while), it’s definitely nice to see WhatsApp’s version getting some attention. WhatsApp is getting better voice messages in the next few weeks
  24. After years of lagging behind rival messaging service Telegram, WhatsApp has finally begun testing dramatically increased file size transfer limits. As WABetaInfo notes, since this feature is so early in testing it’s equally possible that the improvement may never make it to a global audience, with the update instead being rolled back and cancelled if the boost in user satisfaction and retention isn’t worth it for parent company Meta. Image Credit: WABetaInfo Alongside this change to file size transfer limits, WhatsApp has recently been gradually rolling out emoji reactions to Android users, finally allowing users to quickly respond with a limited selection of emojis. WhatsApp is finally testing increased file size transfer limits
  25. In November last year, the WhatsApp Beta app made its way to Microsoft Store, letting Windows 11 and Windows 10 users try the app during development. Ever since it appeared on the Microsoft Store, the Meta-owned instant chat messenger has gone through significant changes to provide a more polished experience for Windows 10 and Windows 11 users. The latest update to the WhatsApp Beta app adds support for dark mode, making the app experience even better. Besides introducing support for dark mode, the update takes the app to Version 2.2205.2.0. Unfortunately, that's pretty much all that you get with the latest update. On the WhatsApp Beta Settings page, you'll find an option called 'General', clicking on which will open a new page, where you'll get to choose between 'System default', 'Light', and 'Dark.' Our readers are smart enough to understand what each of them means. For those unaware, the WhatsApp Beta app is based on Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and also takes advantage of Fluent Design elements in Windows 11. And all of this is possible because the WhatsApp development team recently moved to WinUI 2.6 or newer. If you have WhatsApp Beta installed on your PC and haven't installed the latest update yet, you can go to the Microsoft Store and check for an update. WhatsApp Beta for Windows 10 and 11 gets much-awaited dark mode support
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