WhatsApp Changed in 2021: Accelerated Audios, Payments, New Policy and More | Technology

The app has also been embroiled in controversy over its new privacy policy, which has increased user data sharing with Facebook and helped its competitors gain more users.

In October, the app crashed globally and was down for six hours along with Facebook and Instagram, other services controlled by Meta. The situation has affected many users, including small business owners who use the messenger to serve their customers.

Recall the main changes in WhatsApp in 2021:

WhatsApp’s new privacy policy caused negative repercussions. The app announced in January that it would update its terms for sharing with Facebook data generated from user interactions with business accounts.

The goal is to use the information collected on WhatsApp to target Facebook and Instagram ads. Data obtained from conversations can also be stored, managed and processed by Facebook partners.

Six questions about WhatsApp’s new privacy policy

In Brazil, the application reached an agreement with authorities, who managed to postpone the new privacy policy. Competitors Telegram and Signal reported that their number of users grew after the announcement of the new WhatsApp terms.

Accelerated audio messages

For those who want to save time when listening to audio, WhatsApp has released a feature to speed up message playback. In addition to normal speed, you can listen to the recording at 1.5x or 2x speed.

The solution helped users who receive long audio messages and brought the app closer to its main competitor. Since 2018, Telegram has an option to listen to audios at 2x speed on Android, iPhone and desktop.

Single view photos and videos

WhatsApp also gained an option to send photos and videos that can be viewed only once. With it, users can ensure that their contacts have only one access to certain images.

  • How the feature that makes images and videos disappear

To upload a single view file, you need to select it from the gallery or use the app’s camera and then tap the number icon “1” before uploading it. According to the app, the feature offers more privacy for those who want to share content without leaving it accessible forever.

WhatsApp: find out how the function to send photos and videos that disappear

In the same vein, WhatsApp expanded the temporary messaging feature that had been released in 2020. Until then, it was possible to configure in each conversation an option so that the contents sent disappear after a while.

With the change, the service now allows messages to automatically disappear in all new chats. Here’s how to enable temp messages by default:

  1. Open the WhatsApp settings screen;
  2. Select “Account”;
  3. Click on “Privacy”;
  4. Choose “Default Duration” and select a duration period (24 hours, 7 days or 90 days).

2 of 7 WhatsApp feature to enable temp messages by default — Photo: WhatsApp

WhatsApp feature to enable temp messages by default — Photo: WhatsApp

Archived messages ‘forever’

Another novelty in WhatsApp is that it released a kind of folder to hide some conversations and prevent them from appearing on the main screen again. Instead of chats being re-highlighted if someone posts a new message, as they used to, they can be archived ‘forever’.

The money transfer feature started to be released on WhatsApp in May. Submissions can be made using the “R$” icon that appears on the conversation page, but some rules must be followed:

  • You can send up to R$1,000 per transaction;
  • The monthly limit is R$5,000 for shipments and R$5,000 for receipts;
  • Each user can receive a maximum of 20 transfers per day.

The application does not charge fees for transfers, but requires a PIN (password) from Facebook Pay and registration of a prepaid or debit card from one of the partner banks.

  • HOW DOES IT WORK WhatsApp’s bank transfers feature
Payments on WhatsApp: 5 points on the service

Payments on WhatsApp: 5 points on the service

WhatsApp Web received an update that eliminates the need for a cell phone to access conversations. The smartphone is only used for the first access and after that it is possible to send and receive messages even if it is disconnected.

With the new version, WhatsApp Web can be accessed on up to four computers and work “independently” on each of them.

3 of 7 WhatsApp launches editor to create personalized stickers — Photo: Disclosure

WhatsApp launches editor to create personalized stickers — Photo: Disclosure

The application facilitated the creation of stickers through a tool for the Web and Desktop versions. To create a sticker using WhatsApp, follow these steps:

  1. Click “Attach” (paper clip icon);
  2. Select “Picture” and choose a photo;
  3. You can then crop or rotate the image, and add elements such as text and emojis;
  4. To finish, click on the “Submit” button.

4 of 7 Step by step to access the WhatsApp sticker editor — Photo: Reproduction

Step by step to access the WhatsApp sticker editor — Photo: Reproduction

Migrate between Android and iOS

WhatsApp has started to release a solution for users to migrate the content of their accounts – messages, photos, videos and audios – from the iPhone to Android. The option was first released for iOS shipments to Samsung phones running Android 10 or higher.

The reverse path, where users can migrate conversations from Android to iOS, is not yet available. WhatsApp did not reveal when the update will be released.

5 of 7 WhatsApp Announces Function That Allows Migrating History Between iOS and Android — Photo: Disclosure/WhatsApp

WhatsApp announces function that allows you to migrate history between iOS and Android — Photo: Disclosure/WhatsApp

To improve group calling, WhatsApp has released an update that allows users to join calls at any time.

Until then, everyone had to answer the call to start the group call together. With the change, the application now displays an option to join the call next to the group name.

6 of 7 Anyone belonging to a group can join and leave the call directly through the conversation. — Photo: Disclosure

Anyone belonging to a group can join and leave the call directly through the conversation. — Photo: Disclosure

In addition to messages, end-to-end encryption was adopted for backups made in the application. Available on iOS and Android, the solution offers users another layer of privacy.

In addition to the sending, transiting and receiving steps, encryption is also now being applied to backups saved on the device and in cloud storage services such as Google Drive and iCloud.

Users who enable protection will receive a 64-digit encryption key. To make it easier, the application allows you to create a personal password for a kind of safe that will store the 64-digit key.

7 of 7 Screen shows backup option with encryption on WhatsApp — Photo: Publicity

Screen shows backup option with encryption on WhatsApp — Photo: Publicity

Know how to protect from blows not WhatsApp

Bumps no WhatsApp: know how to protect yourself

Bumps no WhatsApp: know how to protect yourself

 
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