Home / Technology / News /  WhatsApp new features: From new video calling options to forwarded messages

Activity on WhatsApp has grown manifold in the past few weeks due to an almost global lockdown. The company has been trying to improve the user experience further in order to cater to the growth in demand and changing social fabric across the world. Here we’ll discuss various new WhatsApp features that the company has been pushing out in the beta version of the app, a few of which have also made it to the stable version.

WhatsApp Group Calling: This is the latest in the list of updates that have been spotted on the beta version of the app. WhatsApp is testing a feature in which the user will be able to add more than just four participants in a video and audio conference. This feature was not enabled in the beta version but the app might introduce it soon, considering the massive surge in demand for a more secure video conferencing app.

Restricting forwarded messages: Forwarded messages are an integral part of WhatsApp’s user base but its also a tool that may be used intentionally or unintentionally to circulate misinformation and fake news. The company has devised various methods to curb this spread and one way is restricting the number of people a forward can be sent to. If a message has been forwarded more than five times on the platform, the user will not be able to forward it to more than one recipient. This is meant to slow the spread of false information dramatically.

Verification of forwarded messages: Another tool against spread of fake news is being tested by WhatsApp. The app is testing a way to easily verify forwards on the application. In a beta test, the app was showing a search symbol next to frequently shared WhatsApp forwards, tapping on the symbol will take the user to a verification page where she or he can check for the authenticity of the message.

Search for Photos, GIFs: WhatsApp users can search for specific keywords on the application but the users can’t search media within chats. A new version that is being tested shows that users will be able to search for media files like photos and video as well as documents on the application. The user will have to select the type of media or document before entering the keyword(s).

Making video calling easier: WhatsApp has introduced a change in the steps leading to a video call. Within WhatsApp groups that have four or lesser members, the call can be initiated by directly tapping on the video call button on the top right corner.

Using same number in multiple phones: Since the launch of WhatsApp, the app can only be accessed by a single phone number. A new feature that is being tested suggests that the company is planning allow users to download and operate the same WhatsApp account on two different phones.

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