What’s Coming to WhatsApp – New Features and Updates

19 Jan

What’s coming to WhatsApp in 2021? In October 2020 we gave you a sneak preview of the WhatsApp features and updates planned for users this year. It would seem that many of these updates have since been enabled, and a few more have been added. Let’s take a look.

Users can expect a deeper integration with Facebook and of course, the ability to function across various platforms including desktop, web, Android and iOS – something which the world has been waiting for with bated breath! The news that the deeper integration with Facebook will change the face of WhatsApps privacy terms has caused some backlash for the platform with recent statements appearing to contradict earlier assurances that message privacy will not be affected.

Should you be concerned about the privacy updates? Possibly, but you need to understand that it’s all really much of the same. WhatsApp has been sharing your data with Facebook since 2016 and importantly, none of your conversations and media will be shared under the new terms. Best bet – read up on the new privacy terms before accepting them but do it fast, the deadline for users is February 8th which is just around the corner!

With the new features and services mentioned in October, some users on Android and iOS, in beta versions have already been able to test the updates. The good news is that it seems to be a case of full steam ahead and we should see these features go live on the app sometime this year.

let’s talk about the new whatsapp features

Video muting
Users will soon be able to mute videos before sending them on to other users or adding them to their status updates. A small toggle will appear on videos that can be used to mute or unmute media.

Support for multiple devices
This support feature is two-pronged.

  • The first prong will allow users to sign into their WhatsApp account on up to four different devices.
  • The second prong will enable users to log onto their desktop or web version of WhatsApp without having their device nearby and connected to the internet. This feature is in the final testing phase. While WhatsApp hasn’t mentioned an actual release date yet, they have said that it will be coming in 2021.

Video calling from desktop and web mode
Currently, WhatsApp can be used online on a web application as well as a desktop application. Unfortunately, these versions have only allowed for text chats, but later this year, you could be able to video call from desktop and web mode!

Read later functionality
On vacation or sick leave? Now you can pop chats into the Read Later area and deal with them when you are ready. The messages sent to these chats will update, but you won’t receive notifications until you elect to.

keep an eye on the app for additional updates

2021 seems like it is going to be a good year for WhatsApp. While there’s much debate around the new data-sharing issues faced by WhatsApp users, most are willing to admit that the service has been a reliable and stable form of communication in our lives.

Watch out for the arrival of the new features and updates and let us know what you think of them when you have tested them out for yourself. If you haven’t taken the time to suss out the new privacy terms for using WhatsApp, now is a good time to do that. Make sure that you understand them and are comfortable with them. Alternatively, start looking at other chat apps such as Signal and Telegram.

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