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What’s Up with WhatsApp?

by Pythagoras Matko
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WhatsApp recently expanded its capabilities with a myriad of new features. In fact, the popular audio – video – chat platform now offers group calling for up to four people. With WhatsApp joining Instagram under the Facebook umbrella, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new features at the recent F8 Developer Conference in May. This is an annual event that highlights the current and burgeoning trends in the social media universe.

Starting a Group Call

Android and iOS app users can download the new updates for WhatsApp. In fact, here are the essentials of taking advantage of this new multi-person call platform:

  • To start a group call, simply start a usual one-on-one video call.
  • Tap the “add participant” button in the top right of the screen.
  • This allows you to add up to 4 contacts for a social, business or personal A/V conference call.
  • Group calls are encrypted with end-to-end encryption for optimal and secure communications.

While video calling is already available on WhatsApp, the newest feature eliminates the need of having multiple windows open for individual calls. Similarly, it rivals existing video chat apps like Facetime, while creating new ways for people to connect privately with close friends and business associates. With group calling, you can even create video-call groups for your clubs, sports teams, and social rosters.

WhatsApp Continues to Expand

Like Facebook and Twitter, WhatsApp has morphed into one of the largest social media networks in the world. With the recent announcement about the group calling feature, Mark Zuckerberg stated that people had already used about 2 billion minutes of video calling on the app alone. This is an indication that WhatsApp is rapidly becoming the go-to-video calling source for millions of users across the world. However, the main reason why people prefer the app is due to is privacy and encryption protocols. The app also continues to challenge Facebook, which has seen its share of recent privacy scandals.

Here are some more reasons why WhatsApp is slated to become the premier online and mobile communications platform in the months and years ahead:

  • WhatsApp is now the world’s largest fully-encrypted communications network.
  • The app features a convenient online version for users that prefer desktop and laptop access.
  • WhatsApp has enhanced its support for Instagram and Facebook video playback.
  • The app continues to allow YouTube videos to play natively – without forwarding users to the YouTube app on their mobile, wireless and digital devices.

Other Features

In addition to the group calling, the app will also be offering support for stickers in the coming months. This will allow third-party developers to offer more creative ways to enjoy the app. Similarly, WhatsApp will also roll out new group administrator functions. This allows existing group admins to revoke rights from other participants if needed. You will simply access the user in “Group Info”, while selecting the “Dismiss As Admin” features. However, you can use the same portal to make users admins in your private group chats.

With WhatsApp continuing to grow at alarming rates, it’s imperative to add this crucial program to your social media networks. While social in nature, the app is proving to be an effective tool for business and client communications as well. So much so that more people downloaded WhatsApp in the last six months than Skype and other popular audio-video-chat interfaces.

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