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Top New Features That WhatsApp Launched in 2018, And What That Indicates About Its Evolution

Group calling, download delete media files and PiP mode was some of the noteworthy additions and many more are expected in 2019.

News18.com

Updated:January 3, 2019, 2:19 PM IST
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WhatsApp Messenger, a popular cross-platform instant messaging application that allows iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia smartphone users to exchange text, image, video and audio messages for free has started the new year with a bang, with the user base hitting 1.5 billion monthly active users. There are several reasons for this growing popularity but the first two reasons are its simple UI and new features that it adds frequently. Group calling, download delete media files and PiP mode was some of the noteworthy additions and many more are expected in 2019. It has also introduced some new features to combat the menace of fake news and disinformation on the platform. WhatsApp is now working on adding a number of new features to the platform in the coming months. In addition to basic messaging, WhatsApp provides group chat and location sharing options. Here are some of the new features that have been incorporated into the app.

Picture-in-Picture (PiP) Mode:

WhatsApp has introduced the picture-in-picture mode with the latest version of its Android app. This feature will allow users to watch video content from third-party apps within WhatsApp, without the need to move outside a chat window. While this update has been available on iOS since early in the year, PiP mode was initially introduced in the platform’s Android beta in October.

WhatsApp Group Call:

The features are currently available for WhatsApp beta only, with a stable roll out for the public in coming days. The new feature is going to be available soon to Windows Phone users according to WABetaInfo. This new feature currently supports a total of four participants, including the person who started the call. The much-awaited feature is the most basic addition for bringing the Facebook-owned chat app to the level of other video calling apps like Google Duo or Skype.

Dismiss as Admin:

The 'Dismiss as Admin' feature is only aimed at WhatsApp groups. It enables group admins to demote other admins. Earlier, group administrators had to remove other admins to demote them. But, with the new feature, they can just be demoted to a member without being removed. You will be able to locate it in the Group Info menu.

Download Delete Media Files:

As for the new feature, WhatsApp is now allowing its users to download old media files again, which they might have deleted from their phones earlier. Prior to the introduction of this feature, the media files which WhatsApp users used to delete from their smartphone's files after downloading, were not available for download again. This was primarily because WhatsApp used to delete such media files from its servers once they were downloaded by the intended recipient.

In-app video playback for Facebook and Instagram:

After the major announcements at Facebook F8 conference earlier this month, WhatsApp is now introducing in-app play support for Facebook and Instagram videos. The Facebook and Instagram videos, shared on WhatsApp, will play on the same chat screen, without requiring the user to switch to the respective app to watch them.

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