WhatsApp in 2020 – Updates You Should Know About
The new year promises to be very interesting for WhatsApp users. This popular messenger, which is owned by Facebook, is removing previous restrictions and making huge improvements. WABetaInfo announced the introduction of four new functions. Features that include automated communication between businesses and clients will also be updated. And this is only the beginning…
WhatsApp without ads
At the end of 2019, I wrote about the introduction of ads on WhatsApp. Facebook has announced that they will show up in, among others, stories and status updates. WhatsApp put a lot of work into the implementation of this plan, despite the lack of the enthusiasm of users.
As WSJ has announced, the team, which has been until recently working on methods that would enable WhatsApp to publish ads, was disbanded without a reason.
Perhaps Facebook found it too risky to publish ads, considering its endless data privacy scandals.
WhatsApp has the opinion of a secure messenger because it encrypts conversations. Entering ads into this application would require collecting a large amount of user data, which conflicts with current end-to-end encryption.
Right now we don’t know what will happen to Facebook’s plan to integrate the infrastructure of its social platforms. Perhaps we’ll find out after the next F8 conference.
WhatsApp’s dark mode and 5 billion app downloads
Android users got the chance to test the beta version of WhatsApp’s dark mode. Its very easy to activate it. After installing the latest app version, all you need to do is to go to chat settings and turn it on manually. Dark mode can also be automatically activated depending on your smartphone’s power saving settings.
Facebook released dark mode already in September 2018. In December last year, testers from WABetaInfo mentioned that WhatsApp plans to create two new potential designs – one in a grayscale version and the other in shades of black. The latter wouldn’t be based on the visual design of Messenger but a similar design used by Twitter.
Dark mode has both fans and opponents although it brings major benefits. It was designed to make screens less bright, especially in the evening or in poor lighting conditions. If you have a smartphone with an OLED screen, dark mode will also extend its battery life by several hours.
The introduction of dark mode coincided with the news that over five billion Android users have downloaded WhatsApp. This is just a number, of course, as it doesn’t show how many people actually use the app. But it’s still impressive because it shows the enormous potential of WhatsApp. It’s currently the most popular messenger in the world. That’s why all the “WhatsApp update news” always burst the enthusiasm of users and spark off heated debates about the future of this messenger.
Disappearing messages on WhatsApp
As WABetaInfo has reported, WhatsApp is working on a new feature that is inspired by Snapchat. Disappearing messages fit into WhatApp’s development strategy and address issues related to user security.
The new feature will allow users to send messages that will disappear from the conversation history after a specific time period.
This offers an interesting alternative to standard messages, which, of course, are also going to stay in the messenger. Currently, the minimum time after which a message may disappear is 1 hour.
Users in group chats will be able to set the time after which messages will be deleted – any text, photo, or video can disappear after an hour, day, week, month, or year.
WhatsApp hasn’t yet announced any plans to implement this function, so it may take some time until it sees the light of day. Perhaps we’ll learn more after the next F8 conference, during which Facebook always announces the key changes in its products.
Product catalogs on WhatsApp
WABetaInfo confirms that the messenger is introducing product catalogs to WhatsApp Business. This solution was found to help businesses communicate with their clients. Companies can share their products and display them in the same chat window they use to contact clients. However, it isn’t yet available to use a purchase option.
According to WhatsApp, the new feature is supposed to help small companies display their products inside the messenger and make it easy for users to find them.
Product catalogs can already be used in the UK, the USA, Brazil, Germany, India, Indonesia, and Mexico. In other countries, this feature will be available in 2020.
Other new features on WhatsApp
Other new features that are said to appear in the world’s most popular messenger include:
- account activation on more than one device,
- facial recognition unlocking, which will be available on selected Android devices that support this solution,
- messenger browser, which will enable users to open links directly in the messenger.
The changes WhatsApp has announced say a lot about the direction of its development and show how the brand continues the improvements it has made in the last twelve months:
- the ability to choose who can add a person to a group chat,
- private replies to messages from a group chat,
- fingerprint lock to protect chats on Android smartphones,
- recording and sending voice messages in a chat.
Communication automation on WhatsApp
Automated communication is a topic that has also been extensively discussed since the beginning of last year. Companies gained a powerful tool to increase their availability and to communicate with clients in real time – using a chatbot on WhatsApp.
Just like Messenger bots, chatbots on WhatsApp improve the quality of customer service, increase sales, enable you to run marketing campaigns, and – what’s equally important – they can be used to build brand identity on chosen communication channels. Chatbots are used in a variety of different ways. To see other interesting examples, read our article about automated communication in WhatsApp.
The huge success of WhatsApp
In 2019, 10 years have passed since WhatsApp was released. Right now, it has 1.6 billion users from all over the world, including over 8 million users from Poland. The messaging app has come a long way in development and it shows enormous potential and capabilities.
Only during New Year’s Eve, WhatsApp users sent over 100 billion messages, including 12 billion photos! In the summary of 2019, Facebook revealed the five most popular messenger functions: text messages, status changes, graphic messages, calls, and voice notes.
As Facebook has announced, from February 2020 WhatsApp will stop working on iPhones with iOS 8 or earlier and smartphones with Android 2.3.7. And from December 31, 2020, it will stop working on phones with the Windows Mobile operating system. This decision is dictated by user safety – currently a top priority for WhatsApp, as the company constantly emphasizes in its communication.