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WhatsApp

  • WhatsApp introduces live location sharing feature

    WhatsApp will soon introduce a live location tracking feature, the company announced this week. "Whether you're meeting up with friends, letting loved ones know you're safe, or sharing your commute, Live Location is a simple and secure way to let people know where you are," the company explains in a blog post. As its name would suggest, the addition allows users and groups in your contact list to see your realtime location. Traditional location sharing in the "attach" menu within chat screens will now feature a "share live location" option. Users can also adjust how long they'd like their location to...

  • WhatsApp now completely blocked in China

    China is now blocking WhatsApp in its entirety, according to a report by The New York Times. The Facebook-owned messaging service was earlier this year crippled in the communist state, leaving only a few core functions operational. Users could send and receive text messages, but little else. Now, the service is totally barred. The complete block comes just weeks before China's Communist Party conference. This is a damning blow to Facebook's Chinese ambitions. While the social network itself had been banned in the country since 2009, WhatsApp was the last bastion of the company in China. Facebook however has had its own issues...

  • WhatsApp may soon let you watch YouTube videos in its app

    You might soon be able to view YouTube videos within WhatsApp. According to WhatsApp feature watcher WaBetaInfo, the new feature is currently being tested in the latest build on iOS, numbered 2.17.40. The build also addresses a number of other issues on iOS, including numerous UI improvements and tweaks to the calls list and media management tools. But most interesting of all its the mention of YouTube. Users can view videos in a picture-in-picture mode, with added controls such as pinch-to-zoom and the ability to continue reading messages while video playback continues in the background. This means that users needn't leave the chat app...

  • WhatsApp becomes a file sharing service with new feature

    WhatsApp is no longer just a messaging app: it's now a file sharing service too. A new feature added to the chat app this week allows users to send a bevy of file formats to any user including app files, music files, compressed zip files and even Windows executables. The latter might be quite helpful if you're using the Desktop version. Previously, users could only send PDFs to each other (because that's exactly what social media users send to one another on a daily basis). There's one caveat though: the file you intend to send will need to be smaller than 100MB. If that...

  • 6+ news services using WhatsApp in useful ways

    WeChat is one of the most popular instant messaging platforms in the world, in no small part due to its wide range of uses beyond mere messaging. The platform makes extensive use of bots, QR codes and other features, enabling everything from payments to alerts. What about WhatsApp though? The Facebook-owned service is much less complex in this regard, but that hasn't stopped news outlets from stepping up anyway. We take a look at a few publications that offer WhatsApp functionality. Eyewitness News South Africa's own Eyewitness News offers news stories via WhatsApp, giving you another avenue to consume articles. And the signup...

  • Sanlam debuts SA’s first WhatsApp drama in novel marketing campaign

    We've seen social media used extensively as the vehicle for performance art, but what about less image-heavy services like WhatsApp? Arriving via a clever marketing campaign by Sanlam, South African drama series Uk’shona Kwelanga (or The Death of Langa) is set to debut on the Facebook-owned chat app next month. Yes, a drama series made exclusively for WhatsApp. According to the press release, the show "tells the tale of a South African family struggling to deal with the emotional and financial ramifications of loss while planning their father's funeral". The screenplay is penned by Bongi Ndaba (previous head writer of Generations) while a...

  • Opera’s nifty new browser caters for WhatsApp and Messenger addicts

    Opera's desktop browser is known for pushing the envelope of browser design. It was the first to offer the tabs, a speed dial pane and the pop-up blocker experience now standard on most browsers today. But it's latest innovation is aimed directly at those who love to chat. Following a mild visual redesign based on its "Reborn" project, Opera has now given its desktop browser users access to Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp directly from the browser's side bar. While that doesn't sound like much of an innovation, it's particularly useful for those who use these services on a daily basis for...

  • [Update: it’s back] Is WhatsApp down worldwide? Here’s what we know

    Update, Thursday 4 May, 12.10am: According to a tweet published by Reuters Tech citing a company spokesperson, "Whatsapp is aware of outage issue and working to fix it". UPDATE: Whatsapp is aware of outage issue and working to fix it - spokesman — Reuters Tech News (@ReutersTech) May 3, 2017 Original article: Messaging service WhatsApp, used by more than a billion people worldwide, is down according to multiple users across the globe. The outage, which occurred late Wednesday evening in Africa, is also being reported in Europe and South America, according to DownDetector. Notably, the site also suggests that users are unable to...

  • ‘Pinned chats’ are coming to WhatsApp for your most important contacts

    Few things are more annoying than hunting for your bae, mom or BFF in the WhatsApp contact list. And while the app does boast a search function for finding them, it's by no means efficient. But that will soon be a problem of the past. The company's latest pre-release version of the Android app features "pinned chats" which allows users to pin three primary contacts to the top of the chat list. You'll soon be able to pin your most important WhatsApp chats to the top of the chats page This means that even if your distant relative or that person you used...

  • WhatsApp flaw lets hackers take over accounts in seconds

    WhatsApp and Telegram's online platforms had a bug that allowed hackers to take full control of anyone's account by sending a simple image to a user. Check Point Software researchers revealed in a blog post yesterday that if hackers had exploited the hack, they would have been in control of all the victims' conversations, photos, files and contact lists. "This means that attackers could potentially download your photos and or post them online, send messages on your behalf, demand ransom, and even take over your friends’ accounts," the blog reads. According to Check Point, the source of the issue was the end-to-end encryption...

  • WhatsApp testing a direct business-to-customer messaging system

    According to a new report by Reuters, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is trialing a service that will allow businesses to talk directly to users on the service. The project was "seen" by Reuters, and is believed to be used by a "handful of companies" from the Y Combinator startup incubator. While the nature of the service isn't yet fully understood, the report believes that this will allow Facebook to finally use WhatsApp as a revenue tool. Be it advertising revenue by allowing companies to send select users messages, or simply provide ads within content rolls like Status -- much like what Facebook's Instagram...

  • WhatsApp Status has landed in South Africa [Photos]

    True to co-founder Jan Koum's words, WhatsApp Status has landed on Friday (24 February), delivering Snapchat Stories-style functionality to the messaging platform. So what should you know then? Well, it's an overhaul of the text-based status feature ("I'm busy", "I'm at the gym" etc). The overhaul lets you post photos and videos as a general status update, much like Snapchat Stories. These updates all expire after 24 hours, again, like Snapchat's effort. It's worth noting though that WhatsApp does keep track of how many people viewed your update -- simply tap on the ellipsis next to "my status" to get a view-count...

  • WhatsApp Status: will it be a Snapchat clone?

    Who knew that WhatsApp originally started out as a way to leave status messages, so others knew what you were up to? Well, it looks like that feature is finally receiving an overhaul this week. "The original idea behind the project was to build an application that lets your friends and other contacts know what you're up to . This was months before we added messaging," said WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum in a blog post. Koum explained that the team had always wanted to updating and "evolving" the feature. Who knew that this evolution might be rather similar...

  • WhatsApp’s two-step verification: here’s how to enable it

    Without much fanfare, Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp has rolled out its two-step verification system for users on both Android and iOS. But what does that mean? Well, for one, it brings WhatsApp's security in line with the likes of Google, Apple and Microsoft -- three companies who already support the system on their services and devices. Moreover, it will also be a lot harder for baddies to gain access to your account. WhatsApp explains that it will remain an optional feature, that users can switch on if they so desire. But we recommend you do. How to enable WhatsApp's two-step verification system It...

  • WhatsApp location tracking is coming, according to latest betas

    According to new beta builds of WhatsApp's mobile apps, users may soon be able to track others' location in real-time. Spotted by beta-sniffing Twitter account @WABetaInfo, the feature will let users switch on location tracking within the app, allowing those in their contact list to see their current location, and effectively track their movements. 2.17.3.28 iOS | 2.16.399+ Android: Live Location feature, that tracks the live location of other group participants (DISABLED BY DEFAULT). pic.twitter.com/pYEXT1nxyR — WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) January 26, 2017 Although that seems scary, location tracking in mobile apps isn't a new feature at all. In fact, some apps specifically exist for...