While services like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack battle over enterprise communication, WhatsApp continues to lead the way in terms of consumer-fronted tools. The Facebook-owned company has also done a decent job at avoiding the numerous controversies that have befallen its parent company.
For the most part WhatsApp has focused on enhancing the user experience. With that in mind, users will be pleased to see a new update for the app. Releasing in the coming weeks, the update adds a few important new tools.
Leading the way is animated sticker packs. These pretty much do what they say on the tin. Users can now send and receive stickers that are… well, animated.
Elsewhere in the update, WhatsApp is expanding its capabilities with QR codes. Specifically, users can add new contacts by scanning their QR code. This avoid needing to manually input contact information.
If you’re a user of WhatsApp on the web or desktop, you’re in for a design treat. This coming update adds a new Dark Mode. Lastly, the app is getting some group video improvements allowing up to 8 people. It is clear WhatsApp is not aiming to compete with Zoom in this area, but it’s good to see the expansion.
It is worth noting Zoom allows up to 49 video call participants, whereas Microsoft Teams provides 9. Microsoft will be expanding to 49 this fall.
- “Animated Stickers: Stickers are one of the fastest growing ways people communicate on WhatsApp, with billions sent every day. We are rolling out new animated sticker packs that are even more fun and expressive.
- QR codes: We are making it easier than ever to add a new contact. Soon when you meet someone new, you will be able to scan their QR code to add them to your contacts. No more tapping in their digits one at a time.
- Dark mode for WhatsApp web and desktop: The incredibly popular Dark Mode theme now extends to your computer.
- Improvements to group video calls: With now up to 8 people on a video call, we’ve made it easier to focus on whoever you want by letting you press and hold to maximize a participant’s video to full screen. We also added a video icon in group chats of 8 or less, so you can easily start a group video call with 1-tap.
- Status comes to KaiOS: KaiOS users can now enjoy the popular feature that lets you share updates that disappear after 24 hours.”
It seems the update will be rolling out across platform on Android, iOS, Web, and Desktop (Windows and Mac).