4 big changes for WhatsApp – from AI to blocking screenshots

 ·14 Jun 2024

WhatsApp is constantly working on new features, with constant rollouts.

The meta-owned company recently redesigned its interface but is also rolling out other features.

Before releasing features to the public, beta testers get access to a working version of the app to check for potential bugs.

Data service WABetaInfo thus breaks down the latest Android, iOS and Web beta developments and the launch of new features on the publically available app.

Below are four changes that the data service has highlighted recently:

AI for WhatsApp Business

Speaking at the global Conversations event in São Paulo, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the group is constantly trying to introduce new tools on WhatsApp to meet the needs of its users.

One of the biggest announcements was the introduction of AI tools for businesses.

These tools should help users find the information they need efficiently.

“This includes the possibility for certain businesses to incorporate AI services from Meta into their conversations, simplifying customer inquiry management through AI integration,” said WABetaInfo.

The new features are available to some users who install the latest updates of WhatsApp for Android and iOS. They will be rolled out to more people in the coming months.

Larger calls

WhatsApp has also introduced a feature that enables users to call larger businesses directly from the chat interface.

“This one-tap calling option is particularly useful for complex inquiries, such as intricate travel arrangements or opening a new bank account, where a live conversation can provide more immediate and personalised assistance.”

“With previous updates, businesses relying on cloud providers were unable to accept calls due to the unavailability of this feature.”

The feature is currently testing and will be available to more businesses in the coming months.

Status order update

A new beta for Android showed that WhatsApp is updating the order of status updates.

The messaging service will prioritize important contacts over others, with their updates appearing from the top of the list.

WhatsApp’s ranking system uses several statistics to identify important contacts:

  • Frequent Contact: The app prioritises contacts that users chat with often by querying the local database, indicating a higher level of interaction and importance.

  • Pinned Contact: Pinned chats indicate the preference to prioritise certain conversations. These will also be prioritised within the Updates tab.

  • Recent Messaging: Recently-maged contacts are prioritised to reflect the immediacy and relevance of user interactions.

  • Expiring Status Update: when a status update is about to expire, it is prioritised to guarantee that users see timely updates before they disappear.

No longer able to take screenshots

A new beta for iOS also showed that WhatsApp no longer allows taking screenshots of profile photos.

This feature adds a layer of privacy protection by preventing users from sharing other’s photos without their consent.

This will reduce the potential misuse of profile photos.

“While we recognise that people might still use other devices or cameras to capture the images, blocking the screenshot feature within the app will significantly reduce the unauthorized sharing of profile photos.”

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