March 22, 2023
WhatsApp started as a mobile app and those roots remain as strong as ever. But with hundreds of millions of people using WhatsApp on computers and tablets, we’re focused on making the messaging and calling experience across devices even better.
Today, we’re introducing a brand new WhatsApp app for Windows, available to download here.
The new Windows desktop app loads faster and is built with an interface familiar to WhatsApp and Windows users. You can host group video calls with up to 8 people and audio calls with up to 32 people. We’ll continue to increase these limits over time so you can always stay connected with friends, family and work colleagues.
WhatsApp is the largest platform to provide a fully end-to-end encrypted experience that allows cross-platform communication between mobile phones, computers, tablets and more. This means that your personal messages, media, and calls are always end-to-end encrypted across all your devices.
Since introducing new multi-device capabilities, we’ve listened to feedback and made improvements including faster device linking and better syncing across devices, as well as new features such as link previews and stickers.
As we continue to increase the number of devices which support WhatsApp, we’ve just introduced a new WhatsApp beta experience for Android tablets. We’re also launching a new, faster app for Mac desktops that is currently in the early stages of beta.
We look forward to bringing WhatsApp to even more devices in the future.
Last year, we rolled out Communities, to help people get the most out of their groups on WhatsApp. Since launching, we’ve wanted to build even more tools for admins and users alike. Today we’re excited to roll out a few new changes we’ve made to make groups more manageable for admins and easier to navigate for everyone.
New controls for admins
As more people join communities, we want to give group admins more control over their group privacy, so we’ve built a simple tool that gives admins the ability to decide who is able to join a group.When an admin chooses to share their group’s invite link, or make their group joinable in a community, they now have more control over who can join. Groups are where people have some of their most intimate conversations and it’s important that admins are able to easily decide who can and cannot come in.
Easily see groups in common
With the growth of Communities and their larger groups, we want to make it easy to know which groups you have in common with someone. Whether you’re trying to remember the name of a group you know you share with someone or you want to see the groups you’re both in, you can now easily search a contact’s name to see your groups in common.
These features will start rolling out globally over the coming weeks, as we continue to build new tools to make groups the best experience for admins and members alike.
Status is a popular way to share ephemeral updates with friends and close contacts on WhatsApp. They disappear in 24 hours and may include photos, videos, GIFs, text, and more. Just like your personal chats and calls, your WhatsApp status is protected by end-to-end encryption so you can share privately and securely.
We’re excited to add a set of new features to status on WhatsApp that make it easier to express yourself and connect with others.
Every status you share may not always be right for all of your contacts. We’re providing you with the flexibility to update your privacy settings per status so you can choose who views your status each time you update it. Your most recent audience selection will be saved and used as the default for your next status.
We’re introducing the ability to record and share voice messages up to 30 seconds on WhatsApp status. Voice status can be used for sending more personal updates, especially if you feel more comfortable expressing yourself by talking rather than typing.
We’re adding status reactions to provide a quick and easy way to respond to status updates from your friends and close contacts. This was the #1 feature users wanted, following the launch of Reactions last year. You can now quickly reply to any status by swiping up and tapping on one of eight emojis. You can of course still reply to a status with text, voice message, stickers and more.
With the new status profile ring you’ll never miss a status from a loved one. This ring will be present around your contact’s profile picture whenever they share a status update. It will be visible in the chat lists, group participant lists, and contact info.
Now when you post a link on your status, you’ll automatically see a visual preview of the link content, just like when you send a message. Visual previews make your statuses look better, and also give your contacts a better idea of what the link is before they click.
These updates have started rolling out to users globally and will be available to everyone in the coming weeks. We look forward to people enjoying these new status features soon.
Happy New Year to everyone who uses WhatsApp! We’re mindful that just as we’ve celebrated the start to 2023 through private texts or calls, there are many people who continue to be denied the ability to reach their loved ones because of internet shutdowns.
To help, today we’re launching proxy support for WhatsApp users all over the world. What this means is we’re putting the power into people’s hands to maintain access to WhatsApp if their connection is blocked or disrupted.
Choosing a proxy enables you to connect to WhatsApp through servers set up by volunteers and organizations around the world dedicated to helping people communicate freely. If you have the ability to help others connect, you can learn how to set up a proxy here.
Connecting via proxy maintains the high level of privacy and security that WhatsApp provides. Your personal messages will still be protected by end-to-end encryption — ensuring they stay between you and the person you’re communicating with and are not visible to anyone in between, not the proxy servers, WhatsApp, or Meta.
Our wish for 2023 is that these internet shutdowns never occur. Disruptions like we’ve seen in Iran for months on end deny people’s human rights and cut people off from receiving urgent help. Though in case these shutdowns continue, we hope this solution helps people wherever there is a need for secure and reliable communication.
This option is now available in the settings menu for everyone running the latest version of our app. More information about how to use this feature is here.
While WhatsApp is best known for bringing private and secure messaging to users across the world, more and more people are using WhatsApp as a way to connect with voice and video calls. That’s why over the course of this year we’ve launched several improvements to calling on WhatsApp, for catching up with your loved ones, colleagues and communities securely.
We’ve introduced new features for better connecting as a group on calls:
We’ve also made design changes for a more seamless calling experience:
As always, all calls on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted by default to protect people’s privacy and safety.
We’ll keep making improvements next year as we continue supporting high quality, private calling on WhatsApp wherever you are in the world.
Today we’re excited to bring avatars to WhatsApp, a new and personalized way to express yourself.
Your avatar is a digital version of you that can be created from billions of combinations of diverse hair styles, facial features, and outfits. On WhatsApp you can now use your personalized avatar as your profile photo or choose from one of 36 custom stickers reflecting many different emotions and actions.
Sending an avatar is a fast and fun way to share feelings with friends and family. It can also be a great way to represent yourself without using your real photo so it feels more private.
For many people this will be the first time creating an avatar and we'll continue to deliver style enhancements including lighting, shading, hair style textures, and more that will make avatars even better over time.
We hope you enjoy creating and sharing your avatars, which will be rolling out to users everywhere from today.
Today we're sharing an update on what we’re building to help people find, message, and buy something from a business on WhatsApp. Our team is in Brazil today where we’re discussing our vision for bringing the entire shopping experience directly to a WhatsApp chat.
People want a convenient way to quickly get assistance from the millions of small businesses and tens of thousands of brands already on WhatsApp. Today we’re launching the ability to find a business right on WhatsApp so people can now browse businesses by category – such as travel or banking – or search by the business name. This will save people from having to find phone numbers off websites or type a number into their contacts.
We’ve built business search in a way that preserves people’s privacy. What you search for is processed in a way that cannot be linked back to your account. To start, we’re bringing the ability to search for a business to Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, and the UK where people can find companies using our WhatsApp Business Platform. In Brazil, search will help people find small businesses as well.
As more businesses use WhatsApp, our first principle remains keeping people in control of their conversations. Getting this right is important for WhatsApp just as much as for the people and businesses that rely on us. Some of the recent businesses that have joined WhatsApp are helping people open a bank account, purchase their metro ticket and order groceries.
Ultimately we want people to be able to make a secure payment right from a chat with their credit or debit card. We recently launched this experience in India and we’re excited to now be testing this in Brazil with multiple payment partners. This seamless checkout experience will be a game-changer for people and businesses looking to buy and sell on WhatsApp without having to go to a website, open another app or pay in person.
These new experiences are part of making WhatsApp the best way for people to connect with their favorite businesses. We look forward to your feedback.
As we shared earlier this year, we’ve been hard at work building Communities, a major update to how people will be able to connect on WhatsApp in the groups that matter to them. Today, we’re excited to announce we’ve started to roll out Communities on WhatsApp globally and this will be available to everyone over the next few months.
Communities like neighborhoods, parents at a school, and workplaces can now connect multiple groups together under one umbrella to organize group conversations on WhatsApp. To get started, tap on the new communities tab at the top of your chats on Android and at the bottom on iOS. From there you can start a new Community from scratch or add existing groups.
Once you’re in a community, you can easily switch between available groups to get the information you need, when you need it, and admins can send important updates to everyone in the Community
With Communities, we’re aiming to raise the bar for how organizations communicate with a level of privacy and security not found anywhere else. The alternatives available today require trusting apps or software companies with a copy of their messages - and we think they deserve the higher level of security provided by end-to-end encryption.
Today we’re also releasing three more features we think users will be excited about: the ability to create in-chat polls, 32 person video calling, and groups with up to 1024 users. Just like emoji reactions, larger file sharing, and admin delete, these features can be used in any group but will be particularly helpful for Communities.
We’ve been working with over 50 organizations in 15 countries to build Communities to meet their needs. We’re excited that the feedback we’ve heard so far is these new tools are helping groups like these better organize and achieve their goals. There’s a lot more we plan to build and we’ll keep adding features over the coming months. For now, we’re excited to get this into more people’s hands and hear your feedback too.
At WhatsApp, Privacy is in our DNA, and we will never stop building new ways to protect your personal conversations. We believe messaging and calling should always be as private and secure as having face-to-face conversations. Kind of like if two people were talking and no one else was around.
WhatsApp protects the personal calls and messages of users with default end-to-end encryption, so no one but the intended recipient can hear or see them. But that is just one important part of protecting your privacy. Over the years, we’ve added new layers of privacy protections to give you multiple ways to secure your messages, including disappearing messages that self-destruct, end-to-end encrypted backups when you want to save your chat history, 2-step verification for added security, and the ability to block and report unwanted chats.
Today, we’re excited to bring several new privacy features that provide even more layers of protection and give you more control over your messages. This is all part of how we work to keep your conversations secure on WhatsApp.
To spread the word about these new layers of protection, we’re also kicking off a campaign to educate people about the new features and our continued commitment to protecting your private conversations on WhatsApp. We hope people enjoy getting to use these new features and benefit from several options that help you keep your messages secure. We look forward to your feedback on what to build next.
Reactions on WhatsApp are getting even better with a full emoji keyboard including skin tone selector. We’re excited to introduce more ways for users to express themselves while chatting with their family and friends.
As we announced last month with our vision for Communities on WhatsApp, we’re now building for organizations, businesses, and other close-knit groups to communicate securely and get things done on WhatsApp. The feedback we’ve received so far has been very positive and we can’t wait to get many new features into people’s hands.
We’re excited to share that emoji reactions are now available on the latest version of the app. Reactions are fun, fast, and they reduce overload in groups too. We’ll continue improving them by adding an even broader range of expressions in the future.
In addition, you can now send files within WhatsApp up to 2GB in size at a time, protected by end-to-end encryption. This is an increase from the previous limit of 100MB and we think will be helpful for collaboration among small businesses and school groups. We recommend using WiFi for larger files and we’ll display a counter while uploading or downloading to let you know how long your transfer will take.
One of the top requests we’ve consistently received is the option to add more people to a chat, so now we’re slowly rolling out the ability to add up to 512 people to a group. Building private, safe, and secure communities takes work and we think this series of improvements will help people and groups stay close to one another.
We hope people enjoy these updates and look forward to sharing more throughout the year.
Last Updated: July 11, 2022