Updates & News: WhatsApp Business Update
WhatsApp Business Update: In this article, we will provide you with a regular summary of the latest WhatsApp updates and planned features for app versions on Android and iOS. We also present opportunities and assess their relevance for companies using the WhatsApp Business App or the WhatsApp Business API.
Live blog: As soon as there is new information about WhatsApp and new app versions and/or features, we will update this article.
Directly to WhatsApp Business Updates 2021
- Add the WhatsApp Button on Instagram
- Click to Chat Ads are automatically leading to the right messenger
- WhatsApp starts tests for „Business Directory“
- WhatsApp Pay launches in Brazil!
- Use WhatsApp on multiple devices at the same time!
- ⚡ June 2021: All info on the new WhatsApp newsletter options 💌
- WhatsApp business app: run Facebook Ads directly from the Busienss app.
- WhatsApp privacy changes: WhatsApp won’t automatically delete users’ accounts (right away)
- WhatsApp T&C adjustments
Directly to WhatsApp Business Updates 2020
- WhatsApp Pay launches in India!
- Expiring messages on WhatsApp
- Costs for WhatsApp Business – WhatsApp trials in Mexico
- WhatsApp updates Terms and Conditions for Business Services
- WhatsApp takes shopping and payment to the next level
- Human Escalation Paths – WhatsApp chatbots must pass customer requests to human colleagues!
- Use WhatsApp buttons in normal chat as well!
- Use WhatsApp on multiple devices and iPad at the same time?
- WhatsApp starts “Web search” against fake news
- WhatsApp Business API & App: QR Codes, Short Links, Product Catalog Sharing
- Update: QR codes, stickers, group video calls, KaiOS and Dark Mode!
- WhatsApp Pay launched in Brazil and stopped again immediately!
- WhatsApp Business API Buttons
- WhatsApp tests fake news tool for news!
- WhatsApp now with over 2 billion users!
- WhatsApp Business: Advertising still on the agenda!
- WhatsApp strengthens privacy for group invitations
- Human Escalation Paths – WhatsApp Chatbots must hand over to human agents!
- WhatsApp Business App: Product catalog feature now live!
- WhatsApp Pay just before launch!
- 5 new WhatsApp features
- WhatsApp introduces sharing function for status updates to other apps
- No more sending pictures to the wrong contact
- WhatsApp Business App now also available for iOS
- Privacy: WhatsApp users can now select who can invite them to groups
- Security: WhatsApp can now be secured with Touch-ID and Face-ID
- WhatsApp gives permission to third party providers for sticker integration – among the first to join is Google
- Withdraw money from an ATM using WhatsApp? This is really possible!
- WhatsApp update iOS Version 2.19.10 (Add private answers to groups, pictures & videos to stickers, 3D Touch)
Add WhatsApp button on Instagram
To make to start of a conversation quick and easy, Instagram makes it possible for companies worldwide, to add an WhatsApp-klick-to-chat-button on their Instagram profile.
Click to Chat Ads now automatically lead to the right messenger
With Click to Chat , companies can place ads that go directly into WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. Now this ad gets a practical update. Because until now, the decision had to be made in the ad creation process as to which messaging channel they wanted to direct users to. Facebook is now launching an ad option that takes this decision away from companies. With this option, Facebook will automatically detect which messenger the individual user prefers to use and direct him or her to it.
💡 More information to click to chat campaigns.
WhatsApp launches test for “Business Directory”
WhatsApp introduces a function that allows companies to acquire new customers directly in the app: In the “Business Directory”, users can search for companies in their immediate vicinity. You can see what this looks like in the image.
Currently, the feature is being tested in Sao Paolo, Brazil. However, as Will Cathcart, Head of WhatsApp, tweeted, the feature may be rolled out in other cities and for other companies on WhatsApp in the coming months.
We’re kicking this off in São Paulo which is home to millions of small businesses. For those who aren’t in São Paulo to try it out, here’s what it looks like: pic.twitter.com/cMu9DwlUYw
— Will Cathcart (@wcathcart) September 15, 2021
WhatsApp Pay now also launches in Brazil!
After going On – Off with WhatsApp Payment in Brazil in June 2020, WhatsApp pay has now launched with 30 institutions. Facebook Payments has been approved as a “payment initiator” in Brazil. This is reported by the Brazilian newspaper globo.com
The Central Bank (BC) on Tuesday granted the operating permits that allow WhatsApp to carry out bank transfers. Visa and Mastercard also received approvals for two open “payment agreements” such as wire transfer, deposit, prepayment and domestic. WhatsApp will also be part of the agreement, which will allow transfers through the messaging app.
Under the model approved by the Central Bank, WhatsApp only initiates transactions between customer accounts at the financial institutions where they are account holders. The credential to be used in the application is the Visa or MasterCard debit or prepaid card number.
However, according to BC, transactions can be made from the date WhatsApp makes the functionality available to the customer, and the rate charged for the bank transfer is set by the application.
Use WhatsApp on multiple devices at the same time!
Whooop – WhatsApp can now (finally) be used on multiple devices at the same time!
📱 Also possible without smartphone connection.
🖥 Up to 4 devices
🔒 End-to-end encryption remains in place
🤷 BETA only for now.
Very handy for small businesses that want to offer customer service via WhatsApp in different locations via the WhatsApp Business App, for example.
For MessengerPeople customers nothing changes – here WhatsApp can always be used by an unlimited number of employees, with different roles & rights, from any device and around the globe.
Source: Facebook Blog
WhatsApp allows “non-transactional notifications” – a new way to actively send offers and products!
Under the somewhat unwieldy term “Non-transactional Notifications”, companies have been able to proactively send information to their customers again since 06/2021. However, there are some requirements to be observed and it is not completely free of charge!
Facebook and Instagram ads directly in WhatsApp
Soon companies will be able to place ads via WhatsApp Business app.
Facebook wants to offer businesses that use WhatsApp Business a new way to place ads. Until now, ads could only be placed via Facebook’s ad manager with the help of Click to Chat. Now this functionality is to be integrated directly into the WhatsApp Business app. This function is currently not planned for the WhatsApp Business API.
👉 Learn more about WhatsApp T&C adjustments 2021 here.
WhatsApp T&C adjustments: For private communication changes quite little!
For the new year, WhatsApp has updated its T&Cs of the messaging app. By giving consent, the user now grants, among other things, that certain data can also be shared with Facebook companies and Facebook service providers to connect WhatsApp with other Facebook company products; to ensure the security and integrity of all Facebook company products; and to improve ad and product experiences regarding Facebook company products.
However, this exchange of meta data is not new and does not affect users within the EU, which WhatsApp also explicitly confirms to the media:
WhatsApp Business T&Cs – what really changes!
In a FAQ article, WhatsApp explains the changes to the terms and conditions and the implications for businesses. The changes to the terms and conditions primarily affect WhatsApp’s expanded offering for businesses. The changes to the WhatsApp terms and conditions are intended to ensure security here. Specifically, it is about the Facebook hosting service, the new options such as stores and shopping carts and how users communicate with companies via WhatsApp.
WhatsApp business app with catalog & shopping carts
Each product or service in the catalog has a unique title as well as optional fields such as price, a description, a link to the website and a product code. This allows customers to easily identify products in the catalog. Business owners can upload a maximum of 500 products or services to their catalog.
Here is a video that explains it quite well:
WhatsApp is also now offering a “shopping carts“ feature in the WhatsApp Business app. Shopping carts are great for communicating with businesses that typically sell multiple items at once, such as a local restaurant or clothing stores. Shopping carts allow customers to browse a catalog, select multiple products, and send the order to the business as a single message. This makes it easier for businesses to track orders, manage inquiries from customers, and close sales.
Facebook buys “Kustomer” for just over one billion dollars
Facebook has announced the acquisition of Kustomer, an omni-channel software in the WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram Messenger space. The Kustomer management tool provides CRM and chatbots that automatically answer customer queries via Messenger.
WhatsApp Pay launched in India!
After the on-off with WhatsApp Payment in Brazil, WhatsApp is now launching its payment function in India. In a blog article it says: “As of today people all over India can send money via WhatsApp. This secure payment method makes transferring money as easy as sending a message”.
This is made possible through a partnership with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and by using the Unified Payment Interface (UPI).
Expiring messages on WhatsApp
WhatsApp brings the self-destructing news in the latest update! “We are pleased to now give you the ability to use expiring messages on WhatsApp,” says a blog post. If expiring messages are enabled, new messages sent to a chat will disappear after seven days. In a personal chat, either of the two participants can turn expiring messages on or off. In groups admins have this possibility.
What does this mean for companies? Until now, archiving customer conversations in writing has always been a major advantage of WhatsApp compared to the telephone hotline. Companies that use professional software via business solution providers such as MessengerPeople still have the entire chat dialouge in the tool. If the customer deletes the dialog (manually or automatically), it is still visible for the company! But not anymore for the customer.
Will WhatsApp be charged?
WhatsApp is again announcing news about the WhatsApp Business API. As described in the WhatsApp blog, this is a test in Mexico. The idea is that WhatsApp should no longer be free for companies to use. In the pilot project companies have to pay per conversation (e.g. in customer service) not per message. Details, pricing and updates are available at: Costs for WhatsApp Business: Will WhatsApp be charged for business?
WhatsApp updates Terms and Conditions for Business Services
WhatsApp updates the terms and conditions for its business services, such as the WhatsApp Business API. The focus is on the following points:
- Clarification of data erasure practices
- Privacy Shield is replaced by standard contract clauses
- Supplements to data security terms to explain how WhatsApp retains data
This is relevant for our customers because they have accepted the Business Terms of Services. By establishing standard contractual clauses instead of Privacy Shield, WhatsApp is addressing the fact that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently ruled that the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield is no longer sufficient to ensure adequate data protection for a data importer in the U.S.
Read more about Privacy Shield in our editorial Data Protection for WhatsApp Customer Service – Exclusive Interview.
WhatsApp Payment, Shopping und E-Commerce
We’ve written a lot about conversational commerce and WhatsApp. Now it seems that WhatsApp is taking it to the next level. In a blog post they describe some exciting new features as “The future of business messaging”:
- Shopping: Customers will soon have even more opportunities to find out about available products and buy them directly via a chat
- Hosting: In the coming months, we will further expand our partnerships with various business solution providers, thus continuing our two-year cooperation. (Note: MessengerPeople is one of these WhatsApp Business solution providers)
- Business customers: Business customers will incur future costs for some of the services we offer. This will allow us to further expand our own business model and continue to offer free end-to-end encrypted chats, video calls, and voice calls to more than two billion people.
More detailed information about WhatsApp Payment and the costs mentioned above is not available to MessengerPeople at this time. But we always keep you up to date!
Human Escalation Paths – WhatsApp chatbots must be handed over to human colleagues!
As part of the October 2020 updates to the WhatsApp Business API, WhatsApp has announced the following: Companies that partially automate their customer communications, for example, via chatbot, will have to ensure that customers are handed over to a human colleague by a WhatsApp bot as of November 1, 2020.
Possible solutions for this are:
- Transfer to a human agent in the chat
- by providing a telephone number or e-mail
- via web support or support form
No solutions provide escalation channels to social media accounts such as Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Telegram, etc. because they require a login and an account with another service. Furthermore, indirect channels, such as a help center website or a link to an app, do not fulfill this requirement either.
WhatsApp regularly reviews companies to determine if they have integrated a human escalation path into their WhatsApp chatbot. Companies that do not have a Human Escalation Path will experience limitations in sending or receiving messages through the WhatsApp Business API.
💡 Tip: MessengerPeople’s Chatbot Builder allows you to quickly and easily create an efficient chatbot that ensures the handover to a human colleague.
WhatsApp Buttons soon available for normal chat in WhatsApp Business!
As we previously reported, WhatsApp Business will soon be introducing WhatsApp Buttons. Now it has been announced that these WhatsApp buttons can be used not only in notifications but also in the normal 1:1 chats in customer service.
Use WhatsApp on multiple devices and iPad simultaneously?!
One of the most frequently asked questions regarding, “How can I use WhatsApp on multiple devices simultaneously?”
The rumors about a multi-platform system from WhatsApp have been around for quite some time. Already in the summer of 2019 we reported: “WhatsApp Multi-Platform System confirmed!” Now there is more evidence that WhatsApp is apparently in the process of enabling simultaneous use and synchronization on multiple devices. Also, an iPad app is reportedly in the beta test phase again! Currently, WhatsApp is testing this feature on up to 4 devices simultaneously with Android apps. This is reported by the always well-informed blog of @WABetaInfo.
What does this mean for companies using WhatsApp Business?
🏪 Companies using the WhatsApp Business App could use it to solve the problem of tying to a device. This would allow multiple employees to access the WhatsApp Business Service simultaneously and from different locations. But CAUTION: WhatsApp Business App still has a few key drawbacks for companies, like data security!
🏭 For WhatsApp Business API users – all MessengerPeople customers, that doesn’t mean much. With the Messenger Communication Platform, companies have scalable and secure access for their employees anyway. The only thing that could increase is the accessibility of customers when they soon use WhatsApp on multiple devices simultaneously!
Here you can find all the needed information about how you can use WhatsApp professionally and scalable as a company!
WhatsApp launches “Web Search” to combat misinformation & fake news
Distributing fake news is one of the biggest challenges facing WhatsApp. Here are some measures that were taken against fake news on WhatsApp:
New Mark “Forwarding”: For some time now, WhatsApp has been marking messages that are shared in chats and have been forwarded frequently with a special “Forwarded” label. The two arrows allow users to tell that a message has been forwarded. In early 2020, WhatsApp also set limits on how many contacts a message can be forwarded to in order to prevent SPAM.
Web search / Fact checker: Already in March we reported about the Google search feature in WhatsApp. A magnifying glass appears next to the text message and the user is asked if he wants to check it on Google. The search result then shows what is in the message.
💡 We are also doing something against fake news: Together with WhatsApp we have developed the tool “ThatsFact” – a digital solution for fact-checking via the official WhatsApp Business API. The tool enables verified members of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), NGOs and media companies to use WhatsApp to clarify whether the information is factually true or false.
WhatsApp Business API & App: QR Codes, Short Links, Product Catalog Sharing
Features for the WhatsApp Business API & the WhatsApp Business App
a) Get in contact with companies via QR codes
After WhatsApp recently introduced QR codes for home users, this feature is now available for the WhatsApp Business API and WhatsApp Business App.
- Prerequisite: Companies must have a WhatsApp Business account for the WhatsApp API and the phone number must be connected to the WhatsApp Business account
- Organizations can manage up to 2,000 digital/analog QR codes in WhatsApp Manager
- WhatsApp QR codes are valid until the company deletes them
b) Short links
The integration of short links in any digital surface (website, etc.) makes it easy for interested parties and customers to open a conversation with a company, provided that the first contact is made by the customer! Furthermore, there will be wa.me links (Click to Chat), but with an improved solution for embedding.
- Pre-filled messages that are connected to a short link can be edited or deleted at any time.
- Phone numbers are masked in short links, only a random code appears in the URL
- The prefilled message syntax does not have to be included in the short link URL
Features for the WhatsApp Business App
Parts of product catalogs
Product catalogs of small businesses using WhatsApp Business App are becoming increasingly popular for contacting the business through WhatsApp. Every month, more than 40 million people use corporate catalogs on WhatsApp. Currently, WhatsApp Business App is used by +50 million small businesses worldwide.
To make it easier for customers to discover products, WhatsApp provides catalogs and individual articles that are available as links to Web sites, Facebook, Instagram, and more. When you want to share a catalog or an item you found with friends or family, you simply copy the link and share it on WhatsApp or elsewhere. WhatsApp explains how to share product catalogs in its FAQ section.
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Update July 1th 2020
WhatsApp has announced in a blog post that it will introduce several new features and updates.
- WhatsApp with QR Codes: This allows users to add new contacts to their contact list without the hassle of typing.
- WhatsApp with animated stickers: Billions of stickers are sent by people around the world to their friends, acquaintances, or family via WhatsAppp. With the new sticker packs, WhatsApp aims to further enhance user interaction.
- WhatsApp improves group video calls: Up to 8 people can currently participate in a WhatsApp video group chat. To focus on a specific participant, users can simply tap and hold their picture to view their video in full screen. The new video icon in WhatsApp group chats allows users to start a group video chat with a tap.
- Dark Mode for WhatsApp Web & Desktop: Dark Mode, which is better for the eyes and more energy-efficient, can now be used on the computer.
- Status messages for KaiOS users: KaiOS is an operating system that supports phones or cell phone types with a functional range between so-called feature phones (phones that can do a little more than just making phone calls, such as photos etc.) and smartphones. It was originally developed in India. KaiOS phones are also cheaper in price than smartphones. You can now also share status messages via WhatsApp with contacts that automatically disappear after 24 hours.
Following the launch of WhatsApp Pay, WhatsApp’s online payment service in Brazil on June 15, 2020, it has now been announced one week later that the central bank has suspended WhatsApp Pay, which is based on the online payment system Facebook Pay, for the time being. The reason is a “preliminary analysis by the market surveillance”, which had to be carried out.
Update May 13th 2020
Previously, WhatsApp only had numbers, letters or hashtags that could guide users in dialogs (dialogues with Chatbots). The buttons now provided by WhatsApp are functional buttons that companies can make available to their users in dialogs. However, the WhatsApp Business API buttons can only be used if the company also uses the WhatsApp Business API.
Update March 27 th 2020
Just now in the Corona crisis, users receive many fake news items, such as chain letters and the like. To combat this, WhatsApp is currently testing a feature in its beta app versions (Android/iOS). It allows a user who receives a frequently forwarded text message to check it directly on Google.
A magnifying glass appears permanently next to the text message. If you click on it, the message is copied and the user is asked to check it on Google. The search result then shows what is in the message. If entries from credible sources (authorities, specialist blogs, newspapers, etc.) come in, for example, that describe the text as spam, you can safely delete them.
This small feature enables users to immediately determine whether a message is trustworthy or not.
Source: Techcrunch (Android App)
Source: own screenshots (iOS App)
Currently, this feature only includes frequently forwarded text messages. This means that if it is implemented soon, it will not be able to check videos, documents, images or audio files. Text messages are still the most frequently sent messages. There are no official figures about the ratio of different types of content on WhatsApp and how many of what were sent.
Recently, it became known that the Corona crisis has been shown to have dramatically increased the use of WhatsApp worldwide.”Across all stages of the pandemic, WhatsApp is the social media app experiencing the greatest gains in usage as people look to stay connected. Overall, WhatsApp has seen a 40% increase in usage; in the early phase of the pandemic usage increases 27%, in mid-phase 41% and countries in the late phase of the pandemic see an increase of 51%.”
Update February 12th 2020
Besides WhatsApp there is exactly one app (apart from gaming apps) that has already broken the 2 billion user barrier. It is Facebook with 2.5 billion active users per month, as the Q4/2019 results show. Today WhatsApp Messenger announced that the messaging app is used by over 2 billion users worldwide.
WhatsApp’s focus is on user security. Unlike other messengers, the app has a default end-to-end encryption for all messages.
In addition to the new milestone, the crossing of the 2 billion user mark, users worldwide are currently waiting for the introduction of the “Dark Theme”, the so-called Dark Mode. This is already available on many other apps. This feature is popular with users because it is energy-saving and user-friendly.
Finally, the prominent mention of the business aspect in today’s announcement shows that strengthening the relationship between companies and their customers is another important part of WhatsApp’s development. In the business arena, WhatsApp offers the WhatsApp Business Solution, consisting of the WhatsApp Business App and the WhatsApp Business API for medium and large enterprises. Access to the WhatsApp Business API for enterprises can be realized through business solution partners such as MessengerPeople.
👉To learn more, we recommend our WhatsApp Business API webinar.
Update Januar 17th 2020
The introduction of advertising on WhatsApp is currently not prioritized, but remains on the agenda. This is confirmed by a Facebook spokesperson, who emphasized that the topic remains a “long term opportunity”.
Just received from a Facebook spokesman: WhatsApp ads “remain a long-term opportunity,” but not a priority right now. No timeline for when they may launch.
— Kurt Wagner (@KurtWagner8) January 16, 2020
Contrary to reports to the contrary (e.g. Heise: No advertising flood at WhatsApp for the time being), this means that WhatsApp will continue to focus on the development and introduction of advertising formats such as status ads. However, WhatsApp is currently focusing on strengthening the exchange between companies and customers. This is in line with the statements made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the beginning of the year, among others, according to which the support of customers by companies is to be promoted.
With the WhatsApp Business Solution, consisting of the WhatsApp Business App and the WhatsApp Business API, WhatsApp has an infrastructure that enables small, medium, and large companies to provide effective and personalized customer service.
Learn more about the options for companies in WhatsApp Business for Companies: Everything you need to know!
Update January 16th 2020
The latest WhatsApp update for iOS (version 2.20.10) includes a new privacy setting. Users are now able to prevent unsolicited additions to groups. For administrators of WhatsApp groups, the zu Opption option is available to send a private invitation to the group member. Those who want to check their group settings should use this way: Account -> Privacy -> Groups -> Everyone or My Contacts or My Contacts Except
The update also includes other new features, such as the ability to check and accept an incoming call during a WhatsApp (video) call.
Human Escalation Paths – WhatsApp chatbots must hand over to human agents!
As part of the October 2020 updates to the WhatsApp Business API, WhatsApp has announced the following: Companies that partially automate their customer communication, for example via chatbot, must ensure the handover of customers by a WhatsApp bot to a human colleague as of 1.11.2020.
Possible solutions for this are:
- Handover to a human agent in a chat
- by providing a telephone number or e-mail
- via web support or support form
No solutions provide escalation channels to social media accounts such as Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Telegram, etc. because they require registration and an account with another service. Furthermore, indirect channels, such as a help centre website or a link to an app, do not meet this requirement either.
WhatsApp regularly checks companies to see if they have integrated a Human Escalation Path into their WhatsApp chatbot. Companies that do not have a Human Escalation Path will experience limitations in sending or receiving messages via the WhatsApp Business API.
💡 Tip: Using MessengerPeople’s Chatbot Builder, you can easily create an efficient chatbot that ensures the handover to a human colleague.
- Update Septemberber 7th
It was annunced at the Facebook developer conference f8 at the end of April 2019 that the WhatsApp Business App will introduce the function of a product catalog this year. During the f8 keynote, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that since its launch in 2018, the WhatsApp Business App has been used by millions of small businesses worldwide to communicate privately with their customers.
Source: Facebook Newsroom
Since today, the product catalog feature is available and live in the WhatsApp Business App for both Android and iOS. This important feature will be rolled out first in Brazil, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Great Britain, and the US. You can learn how to create a product catalog in this short video.
Update July 12th
The world’s most popular messenger app, bought by Facebook in 2014 for around $20 billion, is reportedly about to officially launch its payment solution on the Indian market.
WhatsApp has created the necessary data storage facilities in India to introduce WhatsApp Pay to the chat app’s entire Indian user base, which is estimated to be between 350 million and 400 million users, according to The Economic Times.
Since February 2018 year WhatsApp Pay has been tested in India with over one million users. This is over now! WhatsApp is entering the Indian market and once the authorities give the go-ahead, WhatsApp will enter the digital payments market, which is expected to have a volume of over $1 trillion by 2023. So it’s clear why there’s so much competition. Solutions such as PayTm, which is currently the largest provider, Google Pay, which is currently gaining market share quite quickly, Samsung Pay, Mobikwik, PhonePe, Freecharge, Citrus and soon WeChat Pay (WeChat is involved in the Indian Messenger Hike) compete for users.
Advantage WhatsApp Pay
WhatsApp has a user base of 350 to 400 million people. They will be the first to use WhatsApp Pay. That’s a huge advantage over some competitors. Whether and when WhatsApp Pay will be rolled out worldwide is unsure. WhatsApp Pay is a huge priority for WhatsApp, which can also be seen from the fact that it was an important part of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s f8 keynote.
Dark Mode, Touch ID & Co. – 5 features that WhatsApp will roll out soon
According to Business Today, one of the leading business magazines in India (one of largest market for WhatsApp with 250 – 300 million users), the following 5 features will be rolled out soon. It is currently sill unknown, whether this applies to both iOS and Android, and when exactly the features will be rolled out.
1. Dark Mode
We have seen it in many other apps like Facebook Messenger, Gmail or Google Chrome. By the way: if you have a Mac/MacBook Pro with macOS 10.14 Mojave, you can also switch to dark mode. The dark mode has two decisive advantages for the user: it is good for the eyes, especially in the evening and at night, and it is energy-saving for the device. WhatsApp users have long been waiting dark mode. But now we can have justified hopes. By the way: According to WABetainfo, WhatsApp calls their dark mode Night Mode.
Get a first idea with this screenshot of WABetainfo for Android:
See also the message by WaBetainfo:
📝 WhatsApp beta for Android 2.19.139: what’s new?
The Dark Mode is now a Night Mode. A new screenshot of the chats list is available!https://t.co/hHoUUkSXz0
NOTE: The feature is not available yet and it will be enabled in future.
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) May 13, 2019
2. QR Code
“It’s never gonna happen.” Was the mantra for a long time. The messaging app WeChat, which is particularly widespread in China, has been relying on QR codes for a long time and so will WhatsApp soon! Until now, this was only available to start the web version via scan. WhatsApp wants to make it easier for users to add new contacts. One step instead of several. That’s why each user gets their own QR code with the update, which can be scanned by others to add them to their own phone contacts.
— فوربس الشرق الأوسط (@ForbesME) July 3, 2019
3. Touch ID for Android
We have known these from Apple etc for quite some time. Apple now even relies on Face ID. The identification by touch ID is already being used by some apps. WhatsApp increases the security standard for the user with offering the fingerprint identification for Android (for the WhatsApp iOS app, you can already identify with both Touch ID and Face ID). According to Business Today, the update makes third-party providers superfluous who offer exactly the locking of an app.
4. Sort contacts by number of interactions
The new feature will automatically sort your contacts according to the frequency of your interaction with them. Contacts with whom you have no exchange will slide down.
5. Function to share your status updates to other apps
Scroll down to see that end of June we have already talked about this topic: WhatsApp is testing a sharing function for status updates to other apps!
WhatsApp introduces sharing function for status updates to other apps!
WhatsApp begins a rollout for its beta testers that has already been expected for some time. WhatsApp beta testers can now share their status (equivalent to the Stories feature on Instagram, Facebook Messenger or Snapchat) in other apps via iOS and Android. In addition to Facebook and Instagram, we’re talking about Gmail or Google Photos, as reported by The Verge. The exciting thing about it is that it is not, as many observers suspect, an automatic sharing process, but an “active decision” of the user. Even if a status posting is shared with another Facebook services such as Instagram or Facebook, the respective accounts are not linked. Facebook technically regards both postings as two different updates that are not linked. It is not known when the feature will be rolled out to all WhatsApp users.
Also for beta testers (but only Android) a feature is currently being worked on, which can completely hide already muted status updates of contacts. Also here it is unclear if and when the feature will be rolled out to all WhatsApp users.
📝 WhatsApp beta for Android 2.19.183: what’s new?
WhatsApp is testing the ability to completely hide muted status updates.https://t.co/C2AMLmXSMj
NOTE: the feature is not available yet and it will be enabled in future.
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) June 26, 2019
Update June 18th
No more sending pictures to the wrong contact!
A new feature will ensure that no more images are accidentally sent to the wrong contact. In the new “WhatsApp Beta User” update, the recipient’s name is now also displayed while writing a caption. Even though some might consider this redundant because you already are in the personal chat, it is still a relevant update to further strengthen user control over content. It is currently not final, when this feature will oficially be introduced in the app.
WhatsApp beta for Android 2.19.173: status recipients details, when you take a photo to send!
It is for the contacts list too. pic.twitter.com/YKgFCKLBlf
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) 15. Juni 2019
Update May 22nd
Ads on WhatsApp? Available in Stories from 2020!
It has been known since last year that WhatsApp plans to play ads on its Stories feature (Status). It was expected to be launched in 2019 and now it has been announced at the Facebook Marketing Summit in Rotterdam that the status ads will come in 2020. In WhatsApp Business, we learned that the news formats will be even more enriched. This means that companies that send images or PDFs in a message in the future will also be able to add their own comments. In addition, the WhatsApp Business product catalog announced at this year’s f8 will be integrated into the Facebook product catalog.
— Olivier Ponteville (@Olivier_Ptv) May 21, 2019
(Click on Tweet to view full thread)
Update April 4th
As of today, WhatsApp has announced that small and medium sized companies can now use the WhatsApp Business App if they are based in Brasil, Germany, Indonesia, India, Mexico, UK or USA. Since the launch of this app in early 2018, it was only applicable to Android systems. From today onwars smaller companies can start using the app on their iPhone, too.
The features are not different to those available on the Android version:
- Business Profile: Official information about the company with picture, description, address etc
- Messaging Tools: Clear focus on quick answers to frequently asked questions, welcome messages or opening hours.
- WhatsApp Web: The option to use the app on your desktop to communicate with your clients
It has basically only been a question of time until the release of this Business App for SMEs, especially since WhatsApp focusses on providing more business solutions for a convenient and easy customer communication via chat app.
Tip: Today’s announcement targets small and medium-sized enterprises. But be aware of these important three aspects:
- When it comes to data protection, the WhatsApp Business App lacks the necessary conformity with GDPR
- This app is targeted to SMEs, so processing customer enquiries, you will quickly reach the limits
- Also in terms of scaling, once again it shows, that it is simply not enough and not efficient enough to employ 5 employees and providing a telephone support when you want to offer professional customer service
Our recommendation: Use the WhatsApp Business API with an official WhatsApp Business API Solution Provider: MessengerPeople. We offer the first professional ticket system for customer service via messaging apps. It is scalable, it can efficiently handle large volumes of customer requests, and it is absolutely GDPR-compliant.
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Update April 3rd
Thinking of the election in India, WhatsApp has introduced yet another feature to prevent the spread of fake news: a privacy setting feature for users to decide and choose who can add and invite them to groups.
Under Settings > Privacy, the user can choose from three options of who can invite them to groups.
As you can see in the screenshot above, there are three options available: everyone, my contacts, and nobody. If the user selects nobody, the person who wants to invite you to the group is given the possibility to invite you in a personal 1:1 chat. This invitation to join the group will be valid for three days. If you choose the my contacts option, then the same applies for contacts that have you as a contact in their address book but you don’t have them in yours.
WhatsApp has now revealed that the new development is already being rolled out to some users and will be available globally in the coming weeks. All you need to do is keep your WhatsApp up-to-date with the latest version installed on your device.
Update January 17th
Since yesterday, the latest iOS version 2.19.20 of WhatsApp supports the so-called Touch ID as well as Face ID.
Depending on the iPhone model you own, you can choose between Touch ID and Face ID. And, as you can see, the new security feature is also set up very quickly.
Step 1: Open WhatsApp and go to Settings.
Step 2: Click on Account to get to the Privacy section.
Step 3: Click on the last menu item at the bottom – Screen Lock
Step 4: Activate the Touch ID by flipping the switch and clicking “Immediately”.
Step 5: Check the enabled Touch ID setting for WhatsApp
Update January 17th
WhatsApp gives permission to third party providers for sticker integration – among the first to join is Google
After WhatsApp had recently put a stop to third-party sticker integration after the initial release, it became known today that Google’s GBoard (Google’s keyboard for Android and iOS smartphones) is the first known brand to be integrated.
WhatsApp will allow Stickers integration for third-party keyboards!
GBoard is the first keyboard app that will support this service, in future!https://t.co/LoRjDh23vT
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) January 17, 2019
The background motive: Android smartphones have the largest market shares worldwide. And which company is on every phone? Google. And of course WhatsApp is also represented worldwide on iOS as well as Android devices, as we know from app downloads worldwide.
The screenshots that WABetainfo integrated into his article show how the integration will work. WhenWhatsApp is open, the keyboard below is open and visible. The integration of GBoard replaces the standard keyboard and will be used with the opened WhatsApp app.
Of course there is also a button for stickers etc. integrated in the keyboard. Clicking on this button opens a search bar for stickers provided by Google via GBoard. Quite simple. Beside the stickers you can also search at Google yourself or usw GIFs and much more.
The integration is relatively small, but it is indispensable for the popular “soft” messenger communication. By the way: basically Giphy, Tenor, Momento and other providers also offer such keyboard integrations, for example for the so popular GIFs.
Update January 14th
A Brazilian bank, the Banco do Brasil, has made what people from other countriesstill dream about come true: cash withdrawal via WhatsApp. This means that the bank’s own apps are no longer necessary.
How does it work?
- Store bank contact (phone number) in address book and ask for withdrawal
- A chatbot on IBM Watson technology asks for the amount and the PIN that the customer must enter
- After verification, the customer is sent a code which must be entered in the ATM and is valid for the day of the request
From a user perspective – and there are 1.5 billion active users of WhatsApp – this is a great feature, because you could now use WhatsApp for banking business, as well as many other things.
BTW: the Brazilian bank has set a maximum amount of 80 euros per 24 hours when withdrawing cash via WhatsApp. This makes sense, because in case of suspicious activity, the bank is not threatened with excessive losses.
Update January 10th
WhatsApp Update iOS Version 2.19.10 (Add private answers to groups, pictures & videos to stickers, 3D Touch)
With the new WhatsApp update for iOS version 2.19.10, three new features are rolled out. First, users in groups can now respond privately to group messages. To do this, tap on the respective message and select the menu item “Private reply” under “More”, as the screenshot shows.
In addition, it is now possible to include stickers in pictures and videos. All you have to do is click on the smiley icon in edit mode.
The third new feature allows a preview of the status messages of the contacts with 3D Touch.
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