8 new changes coming to WhatsApp

WhatsApp is constantly evolving with regular iOS, Android, and Desktop updates.

New features that have been rolled out to the public or are currently being tested include the addition of Avatars, upgrades in calls, and view-once text messages.

Before release to the public, the Meta-owned company will trial its updates via beta testers.

WABetaInfo has a large community of testers who test the app in its beta form and tell people what to expect in future updates. Moreover, WABetaInfo regularly provides news regarding official updates to the popular messenger.

Here are eight features currently in the works or in the process of rolling out.

1. Introduction of Avatars

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WhatsApp has started rolling out the ability to create avatars for those who have downloaded the latest version for iOS and Android.

According to WABetaInfo, WhatsApp will create a sticker from the Avatar, allowing participants to also set their Avatar as their profile picture.

2. Improved calls

On 14 December, WhatsApp rolled out significant improvements for calls across Android and iOS.

The improvements will allow 32 people will be able to join private group calls, message or mute participants in a call, send invite links so people can join a call, use voice waveforms to see who is talking, and will send in-app banners when someone enters the call. Those on iOS 15 or above can also access a Picture in Picture feature.

3. Profile icons in group chats

Profile icons of group participants are now visible on group chats after a recent 22.24.81 iOS update – as reported by WABetaInfo. The profile icon will appear next to the chat bubble.

Some iOS users may have noticed this feature in the previous update, but the feature was only widely rolled out earlier this week on Monday, 12 December.

4. New emojis

WhatsApp is currently working on introducing 21 new emojis for Android users. The new emojis, which use Unicode 15, include new animals, foods, colours for hearts, and instruments.

WABetaInfo also noted that a recent Android beta update features eight redesigns for popular emojis, including the sad emoji. It is still unclear when the new emojis will be included in an official update.

5. Once-off text messages

WABetaInfo stated that WhatsApp is currently working on view once text messages while looking at the beta for Android

A view once text message will disappear from the chat after the recipient has read it. As is the case with the view once video and image messages, it is impossible to copy or forward the message. WABetaInfo notes that screenshots will likely be blocked when the feature is released, but it can not confirm that yet.

6. Banner for once-off messages

Testers at WABetaInfo found a feature where a banner would appear to tell senders that recipients could not take a screenshot, copy, forward, or save a view once video or image.

This was found during tests of the version of the Google Play Beta Program, so the feature is still under development.

7. Message yourself on Windows

Testers in the WABetaInfo community using the WhatsApp beta for Windows 2.2248.2.0 update noticed users could now message themselves on WhatsApp on Windows.

Although the personal chat feature has already been introduced on Android and iOS, it was previously not possible to use it on a desktop. The new feature will now make it possible for users to send an end-to-end encrypted message to all their linked devices via their PC.

8. React to messages in an announcement group

WABetaInfo highlighted that the ability to react to announcement messages is under development.

The ability to react to announcement messages is currently unavailable, but it will likely be introduced in a future Android beta update.

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