In 2019 popular social messaging platform WhatsApp celebrated their tenth anniversary and also launched six new features. Photo: IANS

DURBAN - In 2019 popular social messaging platform WhatsApp celebrated their tenth anniversary and also launched six new features.

Here is a look at the six features that WhatsApp launched in 2019:

New WhatsApp Business features for desktop and web

To help celebrate the first year of WhatsApp Business, the social media platform announced that some of their most popular features can now be used on WhatsApp web and desktop. 

These features include:

1. Quick Replies: These are frequent messages to answer common questions. Simply press the “/” on your keyboard to select a quick reply and send.
2. Labels: Organize your contacts or chats with labels, so you can easily find them again.
3. Chat List Filtering: Easily manage your chats with filters to sort by unread messages, groups or broadcast lists.

Touch ID and Face ID

The Touch ID and Face ID on iPhone can help prevent someone from taking people's phone and reading their messages.

To enable the iPhone feature in WhatsApp, tap Settings > Account > Privacy > Screen Lock and turn on Touch ID or Face ID. Users have the option to select the amount of time before Touch ID or Face ID is prompted after WhatsApp is closed.

New Privacy Settings for Groups

WhatsApp introduced a new privacy setting and invite system to help users decide who can add them to groups.

To enable it, go to Settings in the app, then tap Account > Privacy > Groups and select one of three options: “Everyone,” “My Contacts,” or “My Contacts Except.” “My Contacts” means only users that people have in their address book can add users to groups and “My Contacts Except” provides additional control for who among their contacts can add them to a group.

In those cases, an admin who can’t add users to a group will be prompted to send a private invite through an individual chat, giving them the choice of joining the group. Users will have three days to accept the invite before it expires. 

Bringing the WhatsApp Business App To iPhone

WhatsApp Business app for iOS. Like the Android version — which over the last year has been adopted by millions of businesses around the world — the WhatsApp Business app for iOS will be free to download from the Apple App Store and will include features to help small businesses and customers communicate. These include:

1. Business Profile: Share useful information about your business such as a business description, email or store addresses, and website.
2. Messaging Tools: Respond to customers easily with efficient messaging tools — quick replies to provide fast answers to frequently asked questions, greeting messages to introduce customers to your business and away messages to let them know when to expect a reply.
3. WhatsApp Web: Chat from your desktop to manage conversations and send files to customers.

Introducing Fingerprint Lock for Android

we’re introducing similar authentication, allowing you to unlock the app with your fingerprint, on supported Android phones. To enable it, tap Settings > Account > Privacy > Fingerprint lock. Turn on Unlock with fingerprint, and confirm your fingerprint.

Introducing Catalogs for Small Businesses

Catalogs are a mobile storefront for businesses to showcase and share their goods so people can easily browse and discover something they would like to buy. Previously businesses had to send product photos one at a time and repeatedly provide information — now customers can see their full catalog right within WhatsApp. This makes business owners look more professional and keeps customers engaged in the chat without having to visit a website. 

For each item in its catalog, a business can add information including price, description and product code. WhatsApp hosts these catalogs to save valuable storage space on the phones of both businesses and customers.

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