WhatsApp is the most widely used messaging app in the world. And if speaking of Pakistan and India, it’s the most favorite and frequently used app than any other social app out there. The app rolled out some new features after the recent mob lynching that occurred in India because of fake rumors forwarded on WhatsApp, resulting in the mob beating the innocent individuals to death without a fair trial. This is not the first time such an incident occurred. At least, 18 people were killed because of the forwarded rumors on WhatsApp by mob lynching, forcing Indian Government taking an action and WhatsApp New Features release.
WhatsApp New Features As a Result of Threats by the Indian Government
The exceeding rise in the mob lynching compelled Indian Government to take a stand, they threatened WhatsApp that a legal action will be taken against them if they remain mute spectators.
Indian Government had warned the Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp, that it could not evade “accountability and responsibility” for the content its users were sharing.
“Horrified by these terrible acts of violence”, and that the situation was a “challenge that requires government, civil society and technology companies to work together”, responded by WhatsApp to Indian Government.
WhatsApp New Features in first Beta Release after the Incidents
WhatsApp considering the issue, rolled out a beta version of the new updated WhatsApp with five new features. Some of the features have been launched to WhatsApp users.
Here is what WhatsApp New Features brought to the users:
Limit On forwarding:
Due to the massive rise in mob lynchings because of fake messages that went viral by forwarding from one to another via WhatsApp messenger. To aware people of the fake messages, before they get viral and cause atrocities, WhatsApp labelled their forward messages. Now if you forward a message, it will show the receiver that it has been forwarded. On top of that, WhatsApp also put a limit to the number of messages that can be forwarded.
GIF And Stickers:
WhatsApp is soon going to roll out a brand new feature to share GIFs and stickers for WhatsApp web clients, reported by WABetainfo. For quite a long time, this feature was pending for WhatsApp wen clients, but now as reported, GIF tab has been spotted right next to the emoticon button.
Although, this feature is, for now, available for Android and still in beta version to test but will soon roll out to all users. This feature allows you to report and block as well with an option of whether or not to save the chat history. The feature is not only available for individuals but for group chats too, upon clicking the report button you will get an alert which will allow you to report any specific number, and it will eventually be blocked by WhatsApp deleting the chat messages.
Text And Watch Simultaneously WhatsApp New Features:
Doesn’t it bother you to open a thumbnail and not be able to reply to the messages while watching a video on youtube? Well no more, because now WhatsApp will allow you to watch the video by clicking on the play button in the small window of a thumbnail via Picture in Picture mode (PiP). You can reply to the messages on WhatsApp as well as continue watching the video rather than visiting another page to watch them.
Group Video Calls WhatsApp New Features:
Another amazing feature that WhatsApp launched for its users at large is the Group video calls. Now you can video chat up to four people from your contacts at the same time. Make a regular video call, and if you want all your groupies to join, you can add them by tapping on “Add Participant”. WhatsApp keeping your privacy intact, the video calls also end to end encrypted like the chats on WhatsApp.
Although some of the features are still running in beta version for testing as mentioned earlier, WhatsApp has pulled off quite amazing features to get their users hooked to the app. While we enjoy the WhatsApp New Features, I hope the new update raises awareness about spreading fake reports in order to reduce the wrong use of it.