WhatsApp has announced the launch of two new features on its platform. WhatsApp will now feature the much-awaited picture-in-picture support. Additionally, users will be able to set texts as status messages on the app. The new features will be available on both Android and iPhone smartphones. The Facebook-owned instant messaging app has been trying to bring in many new features on the app recently. One of the most talked about things has been the ‘WhatsApp for Business’ feature which will let companies have verified accounts to chat with their customers and continues to improve its functionality for its over one billion customers. Here is what the new features are all about.
The first feature, called picture-in-picture, allows users to resize the video calling window and move it around should they want to also text a friend or do something else. The company began testing the feature, which is also sometimes referred to as PiP, on Android in July. Over the months, several apps have introduced picture-in-picture mode as a way to bolster productivity. Apple’s recent versions for iPhone also support this functionality.The second feature offers WhatsApp users the ability to have text-only updates as their status. Prior to this, users were only allowed to put their pictures and video as status updates, and have text overlay as they saw fit. The new version of stable WhatsApp build (on Android, its v2.17.323; on iOS, its 2.17.52) lets users choose the background colour and add the text. These text-only statuses also have just up to 24 hours of visibility. Notably, this feature started rolling out to Android and iPhone users on the stable build since late last month, and it appears to be generally available now on the latest builds.
Apart from these, WhatsApp has announced the launch of a Business oriented functionality, which maybe a paid feature in future. This is Facebook’s attempt to generate revenue from the messaging app. Also, in India, WhatsApp is reportedly planning to launch a UPI based payments system.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that WhatsApp has started testing its business feature in India with online ticket booking service BookMyShow. According to news reports, BookMyShow is now sending confirmations for tickets booked on its website to users on WhatsApp.
Apart from BookMyShow, WhatsApp is also reportedly in talks with other companies such as cab aggregator Ola and hotel rooms aggregator OYO for its WhatsApp for Business programme. It might be possible that soon Ola will start sending its OTP messages and invoice via WhatsApp and same way OYO will start sending its booking conformations on WhatsApp.