WhatsApp adds Twitter-like mentions to group chats


Facebook’s other chat app WhatsApp has received some shiny new updates today, with others arriving in the coming weeks.

Available at the time of writing, the app now allows users to tag individuals in group chats by using the @ symbol. This seems to be the only actively-functioning new addition to the Android app, but also works on iOS.

Users can simply head to a group chat, drop the @ symbol in the text field, and WhatsApp will pull up a list of names within that group. Users can then tap on a name to add them as a mention. It’s all, at least mechanically, a lot like Twitter.

GIFs, video calling and more: other updates coming soon

Speaking of iOS, some Apple users gained the ability to send, receive and more importantly, view GIFs in chat. This feature has been available in the beta version for a while.

You can now mention specific users in WhatsApp groups, which makes hiding a little problematic

Based on our tests on Android, WhatsApp still adds GIFs to message threads as videos at the time of writing, but this should soon change.

For those more security orientated, the developers are also reportedly adding two-factor authentication to the app in the coming versions. This feature isn’t yet available, but the possible existence of the feature has been spied in the terms of service by WhatsApp’s beta snooper.

The snooper also recently revealed that bots might make their way onto WhatsApp too, thanks to this snippet from the new terms of service.

Beyond this, other features like video calling, are also scheduled to the app’s stable channel soon.

Andy Walker, former editor


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