Whatsapp was created in 2009. It was released for Android in 2010. Whatsapp was bought by Facebook in 2014. Whatsapp is used by a lot of people for one-to-one conversations, small groups (students and parents in a classroom), to small businesses, to even large companies like Golden Casino who are now creating channels to spread news about their company.
Is Whatsapp being used for your business? Even if you looked into it last year and decided it was not needed, take another look, considering all of the new features that have been developed over the last year.
WhatsApp channels were first announced on September 26, 2023.
WhatsApp Channels is a new feature that allows people and organizations to broadcast messages to a large audience, right within WhatsApp.
Channels are one-way broadcast tools, meaning that admins can send messages, photos, videos, stickers, and polls to their followers, but followers cannot reply directly to updates or send messages to channel admins. Instead, they can show their interest in a channel’s content by voting on polls or adding emoji reactions to channel updates.
Channels are a private way for people to receive updates from the people and organizations that matter to them. When you follow a channel, your phone number and profile photo will not be shown to the admin or other followers. Likewise, following a channel will not reveal your phone number to the admin or other followers. Who you decide to follow is your choice and it’s private.
Channels are a great way to stay informed about the latest news and updates from your favorite people and organizations, without having to worry about your privacy.
How are people using WhatsApp channels?
- A news organization can use a channel to broadcast breaking news stories and updates.
- A sports team can use a channel to share game scores, highlights, and other team news.
- A business can use a channel to share product announcements, promotions, and customer support updates.
- A community organization can use a channel to share event announcements, volunteer opportunities, and other important updates with its members.
- Celebrities can use a channel to share behind-the-scenes photos and videos, tour dates, and other personal updates with their fans.
WhatsApp AI Stickers
The Whatsapp stickers were released for testing on September 28, 2023. They were released to the public on October 11, 2023.
WhatsApp AI Stickers is a feature that allows users to create custom stickers using artificial intelligence (AI). This feature is currently only available in limited countries. To create AI stickers, users simply need to enter a description of the sticker they want to create in English. WhatsApp’s AI will then generate up to four stickers based on the description. Users can then choose which sticker they want to use and send it to their contacts.
Here are some prompts you can try:
- Astronaut riding a horse
- Pizza on a beach
- Raccoon on a motorcycle
- Happy sushi walking
So try it out, and see what you get … but it might still be in beta testing (not available) in your area.
Sending HD photos on Whatsapp
This new feature to send HD Photos was released on October 14, 2023.
Sending HD photos on WhatsApp is a new feature that allows users to send photos in their original quality. This is in contrast to the standard WhatsApp photo compression, which reduces the file size of photos to make them easier to send and receive.
In order to use it, you would send a photo as you normally would, but select the “HD” button to send the photo as HD. Remember that HD photos take up a lot more space than regular photos, so you need to decide if the person really wants (or needs) an HD version or a compressed regular version.
The recipient of the HD photo will see an “HD” label in the corner of the image, indicating that they have received a higher quality version.
Whatsapp Multiple Accounts
This is still a “coming soon” feature of WhatsApp allows you to have multiple phone numbers set up for one physical phone.
The most common use for this feature is a person who has one phone number for work and another phone number for business. In order to keep business and personal separate (but not be required to carry two separate phones), you need this feature. You can seamlessly switch between the two accounts (phone numbers) without being required to continuously login and logout again.
This feature is currently only available on Android devices, and it is not yet available on iPhones.
I was not able to see this feature on my phone. You probably already need to have two phone numbers attached to your phone before you can activate this feature … which would make sense.
Whatsapp AI Chats
WhatsApp AI Chats is a new feature that allows users to chat with artificial intelligence (AI) assistants directly within the WhatsApp app. This feature is still under development, but it has the potential to revolutionize the way we communicate and interact with our devices.
There are a number of different ways that WhatsApp AI Chats can be used.
- Get information and answers to your questions.
- Translate languages.
- Generate creative text formats, such as poems, code, scripts, musical pieces, email, and letters.
- Plan and organize your day.
- Shop and book appointments.
- Play games.
Here are some example prompts:
- Help plan a trip by recommending attractions, restaurants, and hotels.
- Translate a message from a friend or colleague.
- Write a poem or song for a special occasion.
- Debug programming source code.
- Prepare for a job interview.
- Learn a new skill.
- Play and have fun.
Whatsapp photorealistic generator (AI)
A WhatsApp photorealistic generator is a tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to generate realistic images from text descriptions. This tool could be integrated into the WhatsApp app, allowing users to create and share photorealistic images directly within the app.
Whatsapp’s blog mentions this feature, but nothing has been released through Whatsapp’s channel. I also have not seen anything in Whatsapp’s user interface that shows this feature. But that just might mean that it is still in development and only people who have the Beta Version of WhatsApp currently have access to this new feature.
To use a WhatsApp photorealistic generator, users would simply type a description of the image they want to create into the chat window. The generator would then use AI to generate a realistic image based on the description. Once the image is generated, the user can share it with their WhatsApp contacts just like any other image.
Whatsapp Video Messages
WhatsApp video messages are a feature that allows users to record and send short video messages directly within the WhatsApp app. Video messages can be up to 60 seconds long and are protected with end-to-end encryption.
To send a video message, simply open the chat you want to send the message to and tap the video icon next to the text field. Then, press and hold the video icon to start recording. When you’re finished recording, release the video icon to send the message.
When you receive a video message, it will appear as a muted preview that auto-plays three times on loop. You can tap the video message to play it with sound.
In order to get access to this feature, you have to go to Whatsapp settings -> chats and turn on “Instant Video Messages”. This feature was released in July 2023.
Editing of Whatsapp messages
Editing of Whatsapp messages was released to all users on May 15, 2023.
I do not think that I need to describe what this feature does. It is pretty self explanatory. It is just amazing that it took so long for this feature to actually be “created”.
The only restriction is that you can only edit a message for up to 15 minutes after you send it.
Editing of Whatsapp channels
It took a bit longer for the editing of Whatsapp channel messages to be released, October 18, 2023, to be exact. And the feature is currently only in Beta Testing, but it is expected to be released to the general public in a couple of weeks.
WhatsApp channels give you a bit more time to edit messages … 30 days to be exact.
WhatsApp groups are a feature of the WhatsApp messaging app that allows users to communicate with multiple people at the same time. Groups can be created for any purpose, such as staying in touch with friends and family, collaborating on work projects, or joining online communities.
The main difference between Groups and Channels is that in groups members can have the option to create posts, instead of just reacting to them. They can also see the phone numbers (and potentially the names) of other users. So if you are a business that wants to send out messages, but does not want to release your whole customer base, groups are NOT the way to go. Channels would be the better option.
WhatsApp groups can have up to 1024 members. Groups can be either public or private. Public groups can be found and joined by anyone, while private groups can only be joined by invitation. So if you have a small group of people where it is okay for members to see each other’s phone numbers, then groups would work.
Group admins have a number of special permissions, such as the ability to add or remove members, change the group name and description, and mute or unmute members. Admins can also choose to allow all members to add others to the group or to restrict this ability to admins only.
The only feature that WhatsApp groups is missing that is vital is the ability for users to change the group name for just themselves. For example, what if the group name is “Grade 5”, and you have two children in two different schools in grade 5? What one is which group? You would rather have the names be “Tom Grade 5” and “Larry Grade 5”.
The name means nothing else to anybody else in the group, but it does mean something to you. Not to mention changing the group icons. I belong to a bunch of “community groups” where the government posts messages. Whoever setup the groups, gave every single group the EXACT name icon. So not only are the names not informative, but the icons are not informative either (every group has the same icon, ugh).
A lot has changed with WhatsApp during the last year. It is not your “COVID Virus’s app”.
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