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Home / Technology / WhatsApp announced 11 new features this year: Communities, emoji reactions and others
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Instant messaging app WhatsApp , now owned by Meta, has announced a host of features that will be introduced in 2022. The new features aim to enhance the user experience of this widely used app owned by Meta. 

Some of these features were already available to beta testers on Android and iOS platforms.

However, WhatsApp is yet to clarify on the specific date to launch each new feature. Once rolled out, the features will join the new voice messaging tools released by the company a few weeks ago. 

WhatsApp said, "Organizations like schools, local clubs, and non-profit organizations now rely on WhatsApp to communicate securely and get things done - especially since the pandemic forced us all to find creative ways to work together while apart."

“We think Communities will make it easier for a school principal to bring all the parents of the school together to share must-read updates and set up groups about specific classes, extracurricular activities, or volunteer needs."

These features are rolling out in the coming weeks so people can start trying them out even before Communities are ready.

Here is a list of features that WhatsApp has announced for this year.

1. Emoji reactions

WhatsApp is bringing message reactions similar to the ones available on other Meta owned platforms- Instagram and Facebook Messenger. 

The feature allows users to ‘react’ to messages with emoticons. Users will just have to tap and hold a message that they want to react to and then drag their finger to the appropriate emoji. The reaction will appear below the text and will be visible to all members in the group.

2. Communities

Communities feature on WhatsApp will enable people to bring together separate groups under one umbrella with a structure that works for them. Users can receive updates sent to the entire Community and easily organise smaller discussion groups on what matters to them. Communities will also contain new tools for admins, including announcement messages that are sent to everyone and control over which groups can be included.

3. Group admin can delete messages from other user

With the upcoming updates, WhatsApp group admins will be able to remove errant or problematic messages from everyone’s chats. Till now, only senders were allowed to delete their messages.

4. File sharing capacity raised to 2GB

With the upcoming updates on WhatsApp, the platform will be able to support file transfer of up to 2 gigabytes so people can easily collaborate on a project. Currently, WhatsApp only allows 100MB file sharing in one go.

5. Voice calls get new design and support for up to 32 users

WhatsApp will introduce one-tap voice calling for up to 32 people with a new design. The company is changing the design of the app window seen during group voice calls. The platform is adding voice waveforms for all participants during a group call. The voice waveforms are similar to the ones seen in voice notes. The changes in the design are quite minimal but they provide a refreshed look to the page.

6. Pause and resume voice message recording

WhatsApp users can now pause and resume voice messages while recording them. Users will be able to see a new pause option when they start to record a voice message in handsfree mode. Till now, users had to re-record a voice message in case of any disruption. The feature will also be helpful while recording long voice messages.

7. Resume voice message from where you paused

WhatsApp users need not listen to a voice message in one go now. They can pause a voice message and resume listening from where they left. This feature will be helpful for listening to longer voice messages.

8. Play voice message outside WhatsApp chats

WhatsApp users can now listen to a voice note even after leaving the conversation or while using another app. This feature helps to save time as users can reply in another chat while listening to voice notes. Before the feature, users had to stay on a chat to listen to the voice note received.

9.Waveform design voice messages

WhatsApp users will now be able to see a visual representation of the sound of the voice message. As per the company, the design will help users to follow the recording. WhatsApp introduced a similar waveform design for voice calls as well.

10. Listen to voice message before sending

WhatsApp users can now listen to their own recorded voice messages before sending them. Until now, users only had the option to directly record and send the voice message without hearing it first. The feature will work alongside the new pause and resume feature for voice message recording.

11. Fast playback on voice messages

WhatsApp now offers users the option to play voice messages at 1.5x or 2x speeds and listen to them faster. A new 1x speed button can now be seen near the voice message player. You can tap on the new button to change the playback speed of any voice message.

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