Top 10 WhatsApp features of 2018 WhatsApp has been on a roll in 2018, adding new features every month. Group calling, stickers and PiP mode were some of the noteworthy additions and many more are expected in 2019. WhatsApp also took several measures to curb the dissemination of fake news via its platform.
Let’s have a glance on those most exciting features introduced by WhatsApp in this year 2018.
WhatsApp’s 2018 in Review Top 10 WhatsApp features of 2018
With over 220 million users, India is currently the biggest market globally for the Facebook-owned chat app. WhatsApp has devised a strategy to keep its users engaged by rolling out the features that are productive at best and a blatant copy at worst, but it’s the former that matters the most since WhatsApp enjoys a wider user base
Here are the Top 10 WhatsApp features of 2018 that have been quite popular and happen to be our favourite as well:
Top 10 WhatsApp features of 2018
# WhatsApp stickers:
If there has ever been a feature that WhatsApp users have celebrated more than using it, it’s the Stickers. The WhatsApp Stickers were rolled out in late October.
The app offers handful of default stickers to the users and more can be downloaded from the company’s Stickers Store.
The Stickers are an alternative to sending plain textual messages and have been available for a long time on the rivalling apps such as WeChat, Line, and Hike.
WhatsApp Stickers are currently available in a separate tab available via the emoji button. Most of the sticker packs available for WhatsApp are also the same as the ones Facebook Messenger offers.
While the sticker packs are mostly free of charge, they could become a revenue source for developers, and ultimately WhatsApp, given the demand for stickers seems unending at the moment.
# WhatsApp audio and video group calling:
Earlier in the year, WhatsApp launched the group calling feature and it was an instant hit.
Launched on both Android and iOS, the group call feature is end-to-end encrypted and permits up to four contacts to make audio or video call with each other simultaneously.
The feature allows users to call and use ‘Add Participant’ icon to add three more participants from their contact list means the WhatsApp group calling currently supports just up to four people.
# WhatsApp PiP mode:
One of the biggest features of the year, the PiP mode allowed users to play videos from YouTube, Facebook, Instagram within the app itself.
The users can pause/play and also play the video in full screen mode means the video window can also be maximised to full screen, however, with fewer controls.
The feature allows users to view videos inside the chat windows without leaving the app and getting redirected to external apps.
Apart from the three video sharing services mentioned above, the PiP is not available for any other video sharing services or even the videos shared natively in the app.
# Swipe to Reply:
Another feature that is quite handy while you are chatting with your WhatsApp contacts, especially in a group, is the Swipe to Reply.
While the feature was made available to the iOS users last year in June, it was in October this year, the Android users were introduced to something that made group conversations easier than ever.
All the user needs to do is swipe a message in the right direction to reply to it in both individual and group chats.
This not only helps the contact understand the context for the reply but also eliminates ambiguity, whatsoever, in a conversation thread.
# WhatsApp Payments:
WhatsApp Payments was easily the company’s biggest new feature for the Indian users.
Despite getting a bumper launch of the beta version back in February, the feature is still stuck in beta because of the regulatory hurdles. The company is still waiting for an official approval from Reserve Bank of India to open the payments to all.
Based on the United Payments Interface (UPI), the WhatsApp Payments allow the users to send, request and transfer money.
# WhatsApp Forward limit:
The company rolled out this feature after several incidences of fake news, which lead to cases of mob violence.
The move was aimed at discouraging individuals from mass forwarding messages that contain propaganda and curb it from spreading to larger audience.
The company also announced in July that it will remove the quick forward button from media messages.
Additionally, the app has started showing a “Forwarded” label next of any messages that have been forwarded by other users to you.
WhatsApp restricted the Forward limit to five contacts in India after incidents of mob violence and lynchings were reported due to spread of misinformation and fake news on WhatsApp.
The feature limits forwarding of a text message, photo or video to five contacts at once. The forward limit has been applied to both Android and iOS. However, globally the limit for forwards is at 20 contacts.
# Mute Notifications:
You might be wondering how you can mute WhatsApp notifications or completely turn it off altogether. You can easily turn off WhatsApp notifications on Android.
WhatsApp now lets you organise your notifications by importance, and block the other Notifications, Sending Media, and Silent Notifications.
The Mute Notifications feature not only solves the problem of having to deal with all the spammed notifications but also gives a chance to take a break from WhatsApp.
The Mute Notifications can be set for 8 hours, 1 week, or 1 year although, an option to customise the time limit should be offered to the users.
Where 8 hours is appropriately adequate for most users, 1 year is impolitely absurd specifically when it’s been set for a group chat.
# WhatsApp Suspicious Link Detection:
Another feature that WhatsApp released to control the spread of fake news on its platform was ‘Suspicious Link Detection’.
Available for both Android and iOS, it warns users of links that potentially lead to fake or alternative website.
The “suspicious link indicator” asks or will warn the user by highlighting the suspicious link/character in red, and users will get two options, either to open the link or go back (cancel). For privacy reason, the checks take place on a user’s device.
# WhatsApp ‘Dismiss as Admin’:
WhatsApp has also separately launched a new ‘Dismiss as Admin’ feature for its iPhone, Android and Web apps. These are the latest in a string of new features launched on the world’s most popular messaging app.
WhatsApp has started allowing group creators to easily dismiss group admins using the “Dismiss As Admin” option. The creators can also restrict admins from changing group icon, subject or description.
The feature is only aimed at WhatsApp groups yet the option can be applied to private as well as group chats.
Users can access the High Priority Notification feature by going to the Notifications Settings menu.
When a user enables this feature, incoming notifications can be pinned to the top of the smartphone’s notification centre.
# WhatsApp data download:
EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), that come into effected on May 25, allows users to download their data and transfer it.
WhatsApp started offering the users the ability to download all the data that the platform has collected on them.
This data can be downloaded by going to Settings > Account > Request Account Info. Once done, you will be taken to a page where you have to click Request Report.
When you tap on Request report, it takes about three days to create a backup of all your data means report will be available approximately 3 days after the date requested.
And when it’s done, WhatsApp will automatically send an email to your address registered with WhatsApp. The mail contains a downloadable file of all the data.
The report can be downloaded in your phone. You can also permanently delete the downloaded copy from your phone. Deleting the report will not delete any of your account’s data.
These were the Top 10 WhatsApp features of 2018 that have been quite popular and even our