Will Cathcart, the Head of WhatsApp, just announced 2022 as the biggest year of innovation at WhatsApp yet. Here’s what he just shared on Twitter [you can attribute this on record]:
“2022 was our biggest year yet. Our team was so excited to build Communities, Reactions, Polls, Avatars, 32-person video calling, and so much more. Thank you everyone who gave us feedback on how to make WhatsApp even better. There’s a lot more coming in 2023!”
This year, WhatsApp added over 20 new features — including Communities, improvements to groups, better calling and voice notes. It also added more layers of privacy, on top of industry-leading default end-to-end encryption, encrypted backups, and disappearing messages — making the most popular private messaging app even more private.
Recap of all the new features added in 2022:
- Added layers of privacy
In addition to default end-to-end encryption that keeps all your conversations private, this year, WhatsApp introduced new layers of protection.
- Hide your online status: You can now control who sees your last seen and whether you’re online from your privacy settings. Here’s how.
- Leave groups silently: Instead of notifying the full group when you leave, now only admins are notified.
- Accidental delete: Shared something to the wrong group, and in trying to delete quickly, hit “delete for me” by mistake? Now you can undo it.
- Introducing Communities
Communities made it easy for schools, local clubs and workplaces to manage their busy conversations by bringing multiple groups under one umbrella. It also gave admins powerful tools, including an announcement group, and the ability to make sub-groups on any topic.
- New group features
Alongside Communities, WhatsApp introduced new group messaging features, including the ability to create in-chat polls, the option to add up to 1,024 members, up from 256. It also introduced admin delete, giving admins the ability to delete problematic messages.
- Better voice and video calling
More and more people use WhatsApp to connect securely with voice and video calls. This year, WhatsApp launched several improvements.
- 32-person calls: Just like with voice calls, you can now do video calls on your mobile with up to 32 people, four times the earlier number.
- Message or mute call participants: Long pressing on a participant will enlarge the video or audio feed and allow you to either mute or message them separately.
- Call links: Whether making a last-minute call or planning ahead, you can easily invite people to a group call by sharing a call link.
- In-call banner notifications: You now know when someone new joins a group call.
- Better voice messages
Over 7 billion voice messages are sent on WhatsApp every day, all protected by end-to-end encryption. In March, WhatsApp introduced several improvements to this experience.
- Out of chat playback, so you can multitask or read and respond to other messages.
- Pause/resume recording: When recording a voice message, swipe up to lock the recording button. Then you hit pause and resume as many times as needed.
- Draft preview: Listen to your voice messages before sending. Bin it if you don’t like it.
- Remember playback: If you pause a voice message, you can pick up where you left off.
- Fast playback: Play voice messages at 1.5x or 2x speed.
- Expressing yourself better
We share moments of joy, pride, even sadness on WhatsApp. This year, WhatsApp added features that let you express yourself even better.
- Emoji reactions: React to a message with any emoji. Not only are they fun, they reduce the overload of messages like “yes”, “OK”, “done” in groups.
- Avatars: You can now create your personalized avatar and use it as your profile photo (it can make your profile even more private) or as one of 36 custom stickers.
- Status updates: When some adds a status, you now see a ring around their profile. You can also react to someone’s status with an emoji reaction.
- Better utility
Over 2 billion people love WhatsApp because it’s simple, besides being private and reliable. This year, WhatsApp added features to make things even easier.
- Message yourself: Send messages to yourself, so your reminders, to-dos even moments of inspiration are in one place.
- 2GB file sharing: You can now share files, photos and videos up to 2GB, a significant jump from the earlier 100MB limit.
Migrate chats from Android to iOS and vice versa: You can transfer your account information, settings, profile photo, and chat history when moving between operating systems.