WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned social messaging platform, has been adding new features to the platform at a steady pace. At F8, Facebook revealed that it is bringing group video calling feature to the platform. However, it did not detail how it plans to further simply chatting or messaging on the platform.
WhatsApp has registered a new domain called ‘wa.me’ that acts a short link for api.whatsapp.com and aims to quickly open a chat in WhatsApp. In order to experience the feature, WhatsApp users will need to update their app to version 2.18.138. Here is how the new feature works:
WhatsApp users first need to type https://wa.me/(phone number) of the person they want to message on the platform. The URL is automatically redirected to the chat window. Once the messaging is enabled, the web page plugs into WhatsApp Web to let you chat with the mobile number you typed in the URL. If you enter a number not registered with WhatsApp then the URL will notify you with a message “phone number shared via url is invalid.” The feature is not new but seems more like an extension of WhatsApp Web service.
WhatsApp also recently rolled out a new sticker album feature for its beta users. The sticker feature is not yet available to those who have not signed up to the beta program but it is expected to enabled in the next release, as per the report by WaBetaInfo. The feature groups two stickers in a row and the report adds that WhatsApp is currently working to improve the Sticker feature before its public release. The feature will help WhatsApp users save space in the chat if they send more than one sticker.
WhatsApp has also updated its privacy settings and terms of service to comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that gets enforced in the European Union on May 25. Post GDPR implementation, WhatsApp will let users download the data it collects from them. WhatsApp continues to add new features even when its co-founders have decided to leave the platform and follow other endeavors. Facebook might soon announce India-born Neeraj Arora as the new chief of WhatsApp, which has over 1.5 billion monthly active users.