A number of new features are currently in the works for messaging service WhatsApp, according to the official WhatsApp official blog and insider website WABetaInfo.
This will include a number of new of security features, updates to Android-specific devices as well as the ability to send ‘expiring media’ – which will let users send photos and videos that disappear after a certain period.
These planned changes are outlined in more detail below.
The latest beta version of WhatsApp for Android includes a fingerprint security verification feature and a number of bug fixes.
WhatsApp is experimenting with a security feature that will allow users to verify their identity for WhatsApp Web using the fingerprint sensor on their smartphone.
This functionality allows users to create a new WhatsApp Web session and confirm that it is them logging into the platform through the WhatsApp mobile app.
According to the report, this feature is currently under development and will be available in a future update.
In August, WhatsApp said it would introduce a new feature to check the validity of messages that have been forwarded many times on the platform.
These messages will appear with a magnifying glass icon next to them, and tapping this icon will open the user’s browser and execute a search, WhatsApp said.
“We’re piloting a simple way to double-check these messages by tapping a magnifying glass button in the chat,” it said. “Providing a simple way to search messages that have been forwarded many times may help people find news results or other sources of information about the content they have received.
“This feature works by allowing users to upload the message via their browser without WhatsApp ever seeing the message itself.”
WhatsApp said that the new feature will first be rolled out in phases with Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and the US set to receive the feature first.
The group has previously indicated that it will take steps to clamp down on fake news which is being circulated on its platform.
The company now provides a special forwarded label to messages shared in chats that have been forwarded many times. These two arrows help people know when they’ve received a message that was not written by a close contact, the group said.
It also set limits on how many times they can be sent at once to maintain the private nature of WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is also reportedly working on a new feature called ‘expiring media’, which will let users send photos and videos that disappear after a certain period.
Once an expiring image, video, or GIF is sent, it will disappear from the recipient’s phone once they leave the chat. To send expiring media once this feature is available, users will need to tap the new button when sending media via a chat.
There is no timer to set, as the image will completely disappear after it is viewed. In its current iteration, there is no message stating that the media has disappeared but there is an icon shown on the message before it is viewed to let the recipient know it will expire after viewing.
WABetaInfo found there was no screenshot detection for expiring media, although this may change as development of the feature continues.
Updates to Android app
According to a report by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is working on a new ‘catalogue shortcut’ and call button for business chats, as well as WhatsApp Doodles for chat wallpapers.
The catalogue shortcut is a quick shortcut within business chats that allows customers to easily access a business’s products via a dedicated icon.
WhatsApp is also working on a new Call button for business chats which combined the voice and video call shortcuts previously available from the chat screen. When this button is tapped, it will allow the user to choose between voice and video calls.
WABetaInfo speculated that this functionality could roll out to consumer chats once implemented in the future.
WhatsApp is also working on a feature named Add WhatsApp Doodles, which allows you to customise chat wallpapers with faded sticker outlines. This functionality will be available as a toggle under the Wallpaper settings menu.