WhatsApp has been testing and developing a number of features in its beta channel including the Dark Mode, in-app browsing, a reverse image search, group privacy settings, frequently forwarded message restriction to name some. It has also been confirmed that Status, which is the Stories equivalent on WhatsApp will get ads in 2020. While most of these features are under development, some of them are enabled in the beta program.
Once WhatsApp makes sure the feature is working fine without any error, it begins the rollout on the stable channel. We are listing the major features WhatsApp is testing, which are expected to launch soon in the stable version.
WhatsApp ads on Status
Facebook has announced that it will be bringing ads to the WhatsApp by 2020. The WhatsApp stories will have ads just like Instagram Stories. Details of this were spotted on Twitter from Facebook Marketing Summit at the Rotterdam showcasing how ads will appear on WhatsApp in the Status feature.
Last year, WhatsApp Vice President Chris Daniels confirmed that advertisements will be coming to the Status feature, pointing out that it will be the primary monetisation mode for the messaging platform.
WhatsApp has been working on the Dark Mode for its Android and iOS app for some time now. According to a report by WABetaInfo, the company will soon be releasing Dark Mode for all Android users soon. The teardown of the 2.19.82 beta version of WhatsApp reveals that it has a code for Dark Mode, which is disabled for now.
With the new Dark Mode feature, WhatsApp users will be able to change the background of the app to black, similar to YouTube’s and Twitter’s Dark Modes. It will make it easy for users to chat in dark environments.
Share WhatsApp Status to Facebook Story
WhatsApp is reportedly testing the ability to add WhatsApp Status to Facebook Story in its Android beta update. The new feature has been spotted in Android beta version 2.19.151 by Wabetainfo. However, the features are under development and disabled as of now, even for beta testers.
WhatsApp will add a new ‘Add to Facebook Story’ button that will allow users to post their WhatsApp Status as Facebook Story. Users will see the option if they have the Facebook app installed on their device.
Share contact via QR code
In the same beta version 2.19.151, WhatsApp is also adding the ‘Share contact via QR Code’ feature. It will allow WhatsApp users to generate a QR code with their contact details. It will let users share their contact information using the QR code in an encrypted form. It is similar to Instagram’s profile QR code feature.
WhatsApp 2.19.74 beta version includes the in-app browsing feature for WhatsApp, according to Wabetainfo. However, the feature is not enabled in the 2.19.74 version and it is said to be under development. Once enabled, users will be able to open a link in WhatsApp’s in-app browser instead of getting redirected to the phone’s default web browser. WhatsApp’s in-app browser will work on phones running Android version 4.1 or newer.
Reverse Image search
WhatsApp is developing a new feature in its beta channel that would allow its users to perform a reverse image search for the picture they receive or send in their chats. According to Wabetainfo report, the new “search by image” feature is not available yet and WhatsApp is currently working on the feature in this update to ensure a bug-free experience.
The new feature lets users upload the image from the chat to Google. Once the image is uploaded, WhatsApp will open the in-app browser (a feature WhatsApp is working in its beta channel) to show the result. Reverse image search lets you check whether a specific image has ever appeared on the web before and it helps to check the authenticity of the image.
Group privacy settings
The latest feature added in the stable version of WhatsApp is the group privacy settings. It enables users to ensure that not everybody can add them to a group automatically. The feature will soon be available for the users on the latest version of the app.
Once activated, WhatsApp users will be able to control who gets to add them to a group. The app will have three options to select for who is allowed to add them to a group– “Nobody”, “My Contacts”, and “Everyone”. Group admins will be prompted to send an invitation link to add users who have enabled group privacy settings.
Frequently forwarded message info
The 2.19.80 beta version of the WhatsApp was working on “forwarding info” feature to inform how many times a message has been forwarded. A message which has been forwarded too many times will have a “frequently forwarded message” tag. These features are now enabled in the 2.19.86 beta update and yet to be implemented in the stable version.
Group admins can restrict frequently forwarded messages
WhatsApp is currently developing the “frequently forwarded message” restriction feature in the 2.19.97 beta update. It will allow the group admins to restrict a message which has the frequently forwarded tag. WAbetainfo reported that the feature has not been enabled in the beta version and it is in the developing phase.
Once the feature is activated, the group admins will see “Frequently forwarded messages” option in the group settings. In the settings, the admin will be asked to “Choose to allow participants to send frequently forwarded messages to this group” with “Allow” and “Don’t allow” options.
WhatsApp business catalogue
At the Facebook F8 conference, it was announced that WhatsApp will have a new business catalogue feature built into it. The catalogue will be accessible in the app while chatting with a business. The feature is expected to prove helpful for the business to showcase their goods and services to the people.
At the recently held Facebook Marketing Summit in Rotterdam, it was announced that the WhatsApp product catalogue will be integrated with the existing Facebook Business Manager catalogue.
Fingerprint authentication and block chat screenshot
WhatsApp has already rolled out the fingerprint authentication feature for the iOS and it is currently testing the feature for the Android. However, the Facebook-owned company was found testing another feature that would block a user from taking chat screenshots while the fingerprint authentication is active. That means, if users enable fingerprint authentication feature, they will not be able to take screenshots on the app.
Doodle UI and new Status Emojis
WhatsApp will be bringing a new Doodle UI to its official app for sharing media. Stickers will be grouped by “Favourites” and “Category”, so users can easily find the sticker they want to use. There will also be a search feature to easily find stickers. The new interface will also allow the users to put stickers over the images, videos and GIFs.
WhatsApp is also testing a new audio picker which will allow users to send as many as 30 audio files at a time. The interface also allows the users to play an audio file before selecting it to send. The update supports audio preview and image preview (if album art is available) without affecting the selection process.
WhatsApp is also testing new emojis in the Doodle Picker for Status section. The new set of emojis will replace the current emojis for Status updates.
Sticker preview in notification
WhatsApp is bringing Sticker Notification Preview feature to its app. It has already been enabled in the iOS beta version 18.104.22.168 and it is expected to roll out soon for Android as it is under development in the 2.19.130 Android beta update. Once enabled, it will start to show sticker preview in the notification like it does for a text message or an emoji. At present, WhatsApp shows the word “Sticker” in the notification when someone sends a sticker in a chat or group.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines