Will Cathcart, the Head of WhatsApp, just announced 2022 as the biggest year of innovation at WhatsApp yet. Here's a look at their year so far.
This year, WhatsApp added over 20 new features — including Communities, improvements to groups, better calling and voice notes. It also added more layers of privacy, on top of industry-leading default end-to-end encryption, encrypted backups, and disappearing messages — making the most popular private messaging app even more personal.
Recap of all the new features added in 2022:
- Added layers of privacy
In addition to default end-to-end encryption that keeps all conversations private, this year, WhatsApp introduced new layers of protection.
- Hide your online status: Users can now control who sees their last seen and whether they’re online from the privacy settings. Here’s how.
- Leave groups silently: Instead of notifying the entire group when a user leaves, only admins are notified.
- Accidental delete: Shared something to the wrong group, and in trying to delete quickly, hit “delete for me” by mistake. Now users can undo it.
- Introducing Communities
Communities made it easy for schools, local clubs and workplaces to manage their busy conversations by bringing multiple groups under one umbrella. It also gave admins powerful tools, including an announcement group, and the ability to make sub-groups on any topic.
- New group features
Alongside Communities, WhatsApp introduced new group messaging features, including the ability to create in-chat polls and add up to 1,024 members, up from 256. It also introduced admin delete, allowing admins to delete problematic messages.
- Better voice and video calling
More and more people use WhatsApp to connect securely with voice and video calls. This year, WhatsApp launched several improvements.
- 32-person calls: Just like with voice calls, users can now do video calls on their mobile with up to 32 people, four times the earlier number.
- Message or mute call participants: Long pressing on a participant will enlarge the video or audio feed and allow the user to either mute or message them separately.
- Call links: Whether making a last-minute call or planning ahead, users can easily invite people to a group call by sharing a call link.
- In-call banner notifications: Users now know when someone new joins a group call.
- Better voice messages
Over 7 billion voice messages are sent on WhatsApp daily, all protected by end-to-end encryption. In March, WhatsApp introduced several improvements to this experience.
- Out of chat playback, users can multitask or read and respond to other messages.
- Pause/resume recording: When recording a voice message, users can swipe up to lock the recording button. Then they can hit pause and resume as many times as needed.
- Draft preview: Users can now listen to their voice messages before sending them.
- Remember playback: If users pause a voice message, they can pick up where they left off.
- Fast playback: Play voice messages at 1.5x or 2x speed.
- Expressing yourself better
This year WhatsApp introduced reactions to messages.
- Emoji reactions: React to a message with any emoji.
- Avatars: Users can now create their personalized avatar and use it as their profile photo or as one of 36 custom stickers.
- Status updates: When someone adds a status, users can now see a ring around their profile. They can also react to someone’s status with an emoji reaction.
- Better utility
Over 2 billion people love WhatsApp because it’s simple, besides being private and reliable. This year, WhatsApp added features to make things even easier.
- Message yourself: WhatsApp introduced the feature to 'Send messages to yourself', now users can set reminders, to-dos even moments of inspiration in one place.
- 2GB file sharing: Users can now share files, photos and videos up to 2GB, a significant jump from the earlier 100MB limit.
- Migrate chats from Android to iOS and vice versa: Users can transfer their account information, settings, profile photo, and chat history when moving between operating systems.
Writing about WhatsApp's achievements this year, Will Cathcart, Head - WhatsApp said, "2022 was our biggest year yet. Our team was so excited to build Communities, Reactions, Polls, Avatars, 32-person video calling, and so much more. Thank you everyone who gave us feedback on how to make WhatsApp even better. There’s a lot more coming in 2023!”