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WhatsApp

  • WhatsApp will raise its minimum age from 13 to 16 in the EU

    Facebook's raising WhatsApp's minimum age to 16 in Europe, as the company prepares to iron its shirt ahead the forthcoming instalment of the General Data Protection Regulation. At present, teenagers as young as 13 can sign up to use the messaging service, in similar vein to Facebook's other properties. It's not clear if the company's will review its minimum age on its other services too. Nevertheless, new users signing into WhatsApp will be asked to confirm their age. It'll be interesting to see just how, or if, WhatsApp and Facebook will enforce this, considering that little information is shared on the chat...

  • WhatsApp now lets you set descriptions for chat groups

    Have too many WhatsApp groups with arbitrary names? Well now you can add a "group description" to differentiate the one from the other. The feature was first spotted in WhatsApp's beta versions in late February, but is now rolling out to the app's stable channel. As the name of the feature suggests, it allows users to set a brief description for any group made within the chat app. The description will appear below the group's name on the group info page. While this is nice for differentiating the millions of hiking groups I've involuntarily been enrolled in, you may want to guard against...

  • WhatsApp buffs its message deletion time to 4096 seconds

    That awkward moment when you hit send and realise that sultry message you just drafted for your significant other is heading to your granny's WhatsApp instead. If you noticed your error within seven minutes, you were able to delete it, and avoid an even more awkward conversation at the upcoming family reunion. But WhatsApp is about to make your errant messages a little less permanent and family reunions a lot less avoidable. According to an update sniffed out by WABetaInfo, the latest Android beta (version 2.18.69) allows users to delete messages up to 4096 seconds after you've sent it -- that's...

  • WhatsApp Business app debuts, lets companies chat with users

    There's a brand new official version of WhatsApp, but it won't be replacing the current green-icon messenger you know and love. Instead, the Facebook-owned service has today launched WhatsApp Business -- an app that "will make it easier for companies to connect with customers" and can be installed alongside the default app. The reason for a distinct business app is simple. The messaging service claims in a blog post that the original app -- now harbouring over 1.3-billion users -- "was built for people" and not companies. WhatsApp Business largely addresses these issues, giving companies more room in their profiles to include...

  • WhatsApp saw 75bn messages sent and received on New Year’s Eve

    How did you wish loved ones a Happy New Year? For some across the world who typically use WhatsApp, this task was made difficult by an unexpected year-end outage. But in spite of this poor luck, the Facebook-owned messaging service still recorded a new single day pinnacle for messages sent and received on its platform. A record 75-billion messages were reportedly sent and received on New Year's Eve, besting the previous number -- set last year -- by some 12-billion. That's an average of about 57 messages per WhatsApp user. 13-billion images and five billion videos were also snapped, recorded and shared...

  • Is WhatsApp down across the world again? Twitter thinks so

    WhatsApp is down yet again, this according to user reports published to Twitter on Thursday evening. Tweets suggest that the messaging service began experiencing issues just before 9pm SAST. Is whatsapp down for everyone else? — Leo (@taylorleoswift) November 30, 2017 Anyone else's #WhatsappDown? — Krupesh (@krupeshn) November 30, 2017 According to website status dashboard DownDetector, users across Europe, Africa, South America, the Asian subcontinent and the Middle East cannot send or receive messages. This also includes us in South Africa. WhatsApp's previous worldwide outage came earlier this month. There's no indication of the cause of this particular service disruption. Is the messaging app down for you too?...

  • WhatsApp down worldwide

    Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp experienced a brief outage Friday morning. Users, voicing concerns on Facebook and Twitter, were reportedly unable to send or receive messages. According to DownDetector, central Europe, Indonesia, the west coast of India and China were most vocal regarding the outage, which also affected South Africa. When twitter confirms #WhatsApp is down 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/ppI1gGkXMs — Jack Marian (@JackMarian2) November 3, 2017 It's not known what caused the outage. The latest issue also comes after May 2017's global WhatsApp blackout, which struck in the early hours of the morning. The service is reportedly returning to normal for some. This is a developing story... Feature image: Memeburn

  • WhatsApp Status, Instagram Stories both top 300m users

    On the back of its quarterly financial statement and clarification of its user numbers, Facebook this week announced the figures behind its two other flagship social products: Instagram and WhatsApp. Both services, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed, will be at the forefront of the company's drive in the video sharing space. And it's clear that users are gravitating towards both. In an earnings call to investors on Wednesday, Zuckerberg revealed that both Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status -- two Snapchat clones in their own right -- topped 300-million users each. Yes. Each. Both Stories and Status boasted 250-million users in Q2 2017. That's...

  • You can soon ‘unsend’ embarrassing, erroneous messages on WhatsApp

    WhatsApp is finally rolling out a feature that will let users to retract and delete messages they've already sent. Although it doesn't seem to be live worldwide just yet, a brief tutorial is available on WhatsApp's FAQ. "Deleting messages for everyone allows you to delete specific messages you have sent to either a group or an individual chat. This is particularly useful if you sent a message to the wrong chat or if the message you sent contains a mistake," it reads. Yes. That means you can now delete an erroneous, embarrassing or awkward message from your device and the recipient's device. Here's...

  • 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...