WhatsApp has added support to Facebook and Instagram videos on its app, meaning videos native to these applications can be played within WhatsApp without leaving the app. With the picture-in-picture feature, a user can also continue watching the video while moving between other chats in the app.
This feature was added in its recent update released on May 7, for iOS. The Android update for the same feature isn’t out yet. WhatsApp already has this integration with YouTube since last November. YouTube videos can be played in WhatsApp natively — the same feature is also on Facebook’s other messaging app, Messenger.
Facebook, which owns WhatsApp and Instagram has been trying to make the three applications seamlessly connected. Last year, it also allowed syncing of Instagram stories with Facebook, allowing users to post stories on Facebook and Instagram at once. A similar feature for Instagram posts has existed for a while. Reports have also mentioned a feature being tested which let users post their Instagram Stories to WhatsApp. At Facebook’s recent F8 developer conference, the company announced that it would be adding group calling — both voice and video — to the messaging service, a feature that the company said was in popular request from consumers.
Just last month, WhatsApp added a key feature which allowed users to download all the information that was on their app. This includes users’ own account information, settings, profile photo and group names, but not messages and media (there is a different feature for that). This feature, Request Account Info, was rolled out to all users around the world in a recent update. The feature is designed to comply with the recent changes to the GDPR, Europe’s privacy framework.
It was reported in March that WhatsApp is beta testing a feature that labels messages forwarded from another chat or from within the same chat as “Forwarded Message”. This is a part of Facebook’s ongoing efforts to combat fake news and to reduce the impact of spam on its platform. If rolled out to all users, “Forwarded Message” will appear on top of every message that is forwarded to groups en masse.
The company is continuing to beta test UPI-based payments in India. Users can now get WhatsApp payments via referral from anyone who already has the feature. Interestingly, WhatsApp’s payments system was one of the bones of contention between Facebook and the messaging service’s recently departed CEO Jan Koum.