WhatsApp is getting ready to add some new features for web and desktop, including the option for private replies in groups, tap to unblock and a picture-in-picture (PIP) mode as well. The details were leaked by WABetaInfo, which has in the past revealed upcoming features on the apps. WABetaInfo says these features are being tested on the beta version 0.2.7315.
WABetaInfo has shared screenshots of the new features. It appears that long pressing on the reply option in group chat opens up other options, where ‘Reply privately’ is also listed. This could help cut down on the clutter in group conversations and will be a lot more convenient for users. Private reply means one will not have to leave the group each time they wish to have a private conversation with someone else on the group.
The PIP mode ensures that the selected video or a video chat appears as a new window with what looks like a newer user interface from WhatsApp. WhatsApp is also looking to add a feature where a user can just tap on someone’s name to unblock a person. There is also an ‘Invite via Link’ feature in the group info section to add more users. However, according to the WABetaInfo website, this is an option visible only to group admins.
It seems, iOS users might have the option of group calls soon, adds WABetaInfo. Group calls is a feature that might work well for WhatsApp’s audience, given that it has 1 billion users. Though how call clarity, etc will get sorted in a market like India is something that remains to be seen.
WhatsApp also plans to add a new section for Admin Settings, which will have two options: Send messages and Edit group info, notes the website. We will have to wait and see how soon these updates and features are rolled out for users, across Android and iOS. WhatsApp is known to test a host of features at the same time, and these are rolled out slowly.
The Facebook-owned messaging app is already testing services and businesses on the app. Players like BookMyShow, MakeMyTrip, etc are already sending updates, alerts to their customers on WhatsApp now, rather than relying on traditional SMS. WhatsApp is exploring payments in India and plans to add the United Payments Interface (UPI) to the app soon.