It is safe to expect that our dependence on WhatsApp has just developed during this pandemic-hit year. As peoples around the world moved to digital tools to remotely work, communicate, and collaborate, WhatsApp remained one of the most preferred tools for not just personal communication but professional as well. WhatsApp as a platform kept on developing this year too. Some changes you may have noticed already. And in case you missed out on anything, we got you covered. As 2020 comes to an end, we take a look at some of the top WhatsApp features, announcements, and more.
Chatbots to spread awareness
WhatsApp’s role during the pandemic started with its partnership with worldwide health organization to launch chatbots for users through the WhatsApp Business API tool to get access to reliable information on Covid-19. WhatsApp launched the Covid-19 chatbots in India too, and in 13 states. WhatsApp also partnered with the Common Services Centers (CSC) to launch a chatbot for users to get digital literacy services and resources. WhatsApp said there have been over 13,000 unique conversations on CSC’s chatbot till date, and it is required to be utilized by 10 million recipients by August 2021.
Video calling considered a to be this year as peoples stayed in contact with their friends and family, students and teachers moved to online classes, and virtual gatherings turned into the new normal. WhatsApp also increased the group calling participant limit from four to eight owing to this surge. “Group calling has been particularly useful for users wanting to connect with more people at once – which is why we doubled the number of participants on WhatsApp calls from four to eight in April. People on an average were spending over 15 billion minutes talking each day on WhatsApp calls, well above a typical day before the pandemic,”
2020 was also a big year for WhatsApp features with the app releasing one of the most awaited features at the beginning of the year. Dark mode on WhatsApp was finally made available after months of reports and leaks. WhatsApp additionally launched the advanced search tool, QR code support, animated stickers and a redesigned storage tool. Another feature on WhatsApp was disappearing messages. WhatsApp has set a self-destruct timer of seven days for messages that can be activated by anyone, and by admins in group chats.
Another achievement for WhatsApp this year was at last launching its peer-to-peer payments service in India. WhatsApp Pay has been active in India since 2018 yet its authority rollout was slowed down. It finally received the green light this year with a cap of 20 million users in the first stage. WhatsApp had revealed a 1 million client base for its UPI-based payment service during the beta launch.
WhatsApp additionally rolled out new features for its business application this year. In October, WhatsApp declared more than 175 million peoples connect with a business account each day. In India, WhatsApp Business has more than 15 million users, and more than 3 million users visit a business inventory every day. The latest feature on WhatsApp Business was a shopping button that makes it possible for users to enquire about specific items from the list.
WhatsApp right now has more than 2 billion users worldwide, and 400 million of them are from India alone. Facebook is yet to report the most recent numbers for WhatsApp’s client base. In its Q3 income report, Facebook said 2.5 billion users used at least one of its services daily, and 3.2 billion monthly.