Update your Whatsapp right away if you haven’t done it so far. The latest update version 2.19.150 fixes a vulnerability that uses spyware known as Pegasus that’s capable of infecting devices via a simple WhatsApp call, even if you don’t pick that call. This security flaw, which is now patched, could have let an attacker gain control over our device and breach into our private data. You won’t even have a clue of the malicious activity as the miscreant could manipulate call logs.
Moving on, the Facebook-owned company would release a slew of updates in the imminent feature, but not all of them would add value. Most of these features are currently hidden or disabled.
10 Upcoming WhatsApp Updates
1. Ads on Whatsapp Status/ Stories
Starting off with the nefarious one, Ads. Yes, Facebook has revealed that they are planning to introduce Ads on the WhatsApp status/stories, just like in Instagram stories. This would be the new monetization medium for the company as the app is free to use. In the Facebook Marketing Summit in the Netherlands, the company announced that the Ads would arrive in 2020. The code has been identified within WhatsApp beta for Android version 2.18.305.
2. Night/Dark mode
One of the longtime wishes of the fans could hit the instant-messaging app soon. Yes, both the Android and iOS variants could get the Dark mode just like Youtube and Twitter. WABetaInfo unfurled the code for Dark theme within the 2.19.82 beta version, which is disabled by default for now. However, this means the app could sport the same after any of the oncoming updates.
3. Fingerprint authentication and Block Chat Screenshots
Privacy is a major concern of WhatsApp users and this feature would add an extra layer of security to block snooping eyes. The feature is already available for iOS users and Android users could expect an imminent arrival. You could reply from the notification shade and answer calls on WhatsApp when the app is locked. It has been spotted in the Android beta version 2.19.83.
When this feature is enabled, you won’t be able to take screenshots of your chat conversations, while the receiver could do it.
4. WhatsApp Pay
WhatsApp Pay could be the next big thing from the Social Media giant due to its huge user base. Pavel Naiya, Senior Analyst, Devices, and Ecosystem at Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research, predicts this P2P platform would become an instant threat for products like Paytm Wallet and other UPI-dependant apps. However, the same could take a few months to be official in the country. “In response to India’s payments data circular, we’ve built a system that stores payments-related data locally in India,” a WhatsApp spokesperson tipped IANS.
5. Post WhatsApp Status as Facebook Story
You would soon find a new ‘Add to Facebook Story’ option that will allow you to share your WhatsApp Status to Facebook Story. The only requisite is that you should have the Facebook app installed on your device. It has been spotted in Android beta version 2.19.151.
6. Share Contact Info via QR
Just like Instagram’s Nametag feature, you could share your contact details via a QR code generated right within the app. So, you won’t have to spell your WhatsApp number digit by digit. If you’re concerned about your safety, simply revoke the QR code and stop it from showing the QR code to future users. The same feature has been spotted in version 2.19.151.
7. Reverse Image search & In-app browsing
To put shackles on the fake images circulating via the app, the company has come forward with a reverse image search feature. You could upload an image to Google, and find out the other sources of the image. This helps you to identify fake from real images.
The same update brings an in-app browser for opening a link without getting redirected to another web browser app. You won’t be able to screenshot or video record while using the in-app browser. This was spotted in beta version 2.19.74.
8. Doodle UI and Status Emojis
WhatsApp Doodle UI has been updated with new tabs: Stickers and Emojis. Doodle UI refers to the image editing screen in which you could add emojis on the image so far. However, with the new update, you could also add stickers. Furthermore, the stickers are now grouped by favorites and category. You would also be able to search for stickers or emojis. This update is discovered in version v2.19.106 beta.
9. Play videos and Preview Stickers in the notification
Currently, you have to open an app to play received videos and view stickers. As far as stickers are concerned, til now when you receive one, it is showed as a heart emoji in the notification shade. However, with this upcoming update, the app will let you preview the videos as well as stickers right in the notification, without opening the app.
This feature has surfaced in WhatsApp beta version 18.104.22.168 in iOS. It could soon visit the Android variant also.
10. WhatsApp Business Catalog
Now companies can exhibit their entire product lineup as a digital brochure via WhatsApp Business. So, users could browse through and purchase straight from the app. Facebook has announced that the WhatsApp product catalog will be integrated with the existing Facebook Business Manager catalog.
Other Important Features
WhatsApp has already brought a barrage of features focussed on improving user experience as well as privacy and security. It already marks frequently forwarded messages to highlight viral messages, a private reply option to an individual in a group chat, enhanced group voice and video calling, Group Invite system, fact-check tipline, and more. Few other features such as Interaction based Status sorting are also en route.