Our mission is to connect the world privately. As more of our conversations move from face-to-face to digital, we acknowledge there is a certain magic in just sitting down with someone in-person, sharing your thoughts in confidence, knowing you are both connecting in private and in that moment. The freedom to be honest and vulnerable, knowing that conversation isn’t being recorded and stored somewhere forever.
Deciding how long a message lasts should be in your hands. We’ve become accustomed to leaving a digital copy of just about everything we type without even thinking about it. It’s become the equivalent of a note taker following us around making a permanent record of everything we’ve said. This is why we introduced disappearing messages last year, and more recently a way for photos and videos to immediately disappear after being viewed once.
Today we are excited to provide our users with more options to control their messages and how long they stick around, with default disappearing messages and multiple durations.
WhatsApp users will now have the option to turn on disappearing messages by default for all new chats. When enabled, all new one-on-one chats you or another person start will be set to disappear at your chosen duration, and we've added a new option when creating a group chat that lets you turn it on for groups you create. This new feature is optional and does not change or delete any of your existing chats.
We are also adding two new durations for disappearing messages: 24 hours and 90 days, as well as the existing option of 7 days.
For people who choose to switch on default disappearing messages, we will display a message in your chats that tells people this is the default you’ve chosen. This makes clear it's nothing personal - it's a choice you've made about how you want to communicate with everyone on WhatsApp moving forward. Though of course, if you need a particular conversation to remain permanent, it’s easy to switch a chat back.
Living apart from family and friends for over a year has made it clearer than ever that just because we can’t physically talk in person, it doesn’t mean we should have to sacrifice the privacy of our personal conversations. We believe disappearing messages along with end-to-end encryption are two crucial features that define what it means to be a private messaging service today, and bring us one step closer to the feeling of an in-personal conversation.
To get started, go to your Privacy settings and select ‘Default Message Timer’. You can learn more here.
WhatsApp was built on a simple idea: what you share with your friends and family stays between you. Five years ago, we added end-to-end encryption by default, which today protects over 100 billion messages a day as they travel between more than 2 billion users.
While end-to-end encrypted messages you send and receive are stored on your device, many people also want a way to back up their chats in case they lose their phone. Starting today, we are making available an extra, optional layer of security to protect backups stored on Google Drive or iCloud with end-to-end encryption. No other global messaging service at this scale provides this level of security for their users’ messages, media, voice messages, video calls, and chat backups.
You can now secure your end-to-end encrypted backup with either a password of your choice or a 64-digit encryption key that only you know. Neither WhatsApp nor your backup service provider will be able to read your backups or access the key required to unlock it.
With more than 2 billion users, we are excited to give people more choices to protect their privacy. We will be rolling this feature out slowly to those with the latest version of WhatsApp. More information about how you can protect your chat backups with end-to-end encryption on iOS and Android can be found here, and more information about how we built it can be found here.
Your WhatsApp messages belong to you. That’s why your personal WhatsApp messages are protected by end-to-end encryption and why we provide ways to make them automatically disappear from your chats.
One of the most requested features we’ve had is to make it possible to transfer chat history from one operating system to another when switching phones. We’ve been hard at work with operating system and device manufacturers to build it in a secure and reliable way.
We’re excited to start rolling out the ability to move your WhatsApp history from iOS to Android. This happens without your messages being sent to WhatsApp in the process and includes voice messages, photos and videos. To start, this feature is available on any Samsung device running Android 10 or higher, and will be available on more Android devices soon.
When you set up a new device, you’ll be provided with the option to securely transfer your chats from your old device to your new one. This process will require a USB-C to Lightning cable. More information can be found here.
This is just a start. We look forward to making this option available for more people to switch between platforms of their choice and securely take their chats with them.
While taking photos or videos on our phones has become such a big part of our lives, not everything we share needs to become a permanent digital record. On many phones, simply taking a photo means it will take up space in your camera roll forever.
That’s why today we’re rolling out new View Once photos and videos that disappear from the chat after they’ve been opened, giving users even more control over their privacy.
For example, you might send a View Once photo of some new clothes you’re trying on at a store, a quick reaction to a moment in time, or something sensitive like a Wi-Fi password.
As with all the personal messages you send on WhatsApp, View Once media is protected by end-to-end encryption so WhatsApp cannot see them. They will also be clearly marked with a new “one-time” icon.
After the media has been viewed, the message will appear as “opened” to avoid any confusion about what was happening in the chat at the time.
We’re rolling out the feature to everyone starting this week and are looking forward to feedback on this new way to send private and disappearing media.
You can read more about how to try it out here.
At a time when so many of us are apart, there’s nothing better than getting together on a group call with friends and family, and there’s nothing worse than realizing that you missed a special moment.
As the popularity of group calls continues to grow, we’ve been working to improve the experience for our users - while of course still providing the security and privacy of end-to-end encryption.
Today we’re introducing the ability to join a group call, even after it’s started. Joinable calls reduce the burden of answering a group call as it starts, and brings the spontaneity and ease of in-person conversations to group calling on WhatsApp.
Some of the best conversations happen when you least expect it. Now, if someone in your group misses a call when the phone rings, they can still join whenever they like. You can also drop-off and re-join so long as the call is still ongoing.
We’ve also created a call info screen so you can see who is already on the call, and who has been invited but not yet joined. And, if you hit ‘ignore’ you can join later from the calls tab in WhatsApp.
Joinable calls are rolling out from today and we hope people can start to make the most of the new experience.
You can read more about how to try it out here.
We’re honored by the opportunity to support the U.S. government’s sprint to get more Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 before the July 4 holiday, or as soon as they are able to do so.
People of all backgrounds rely on WhatsApp, though we know WhatsApp plays a particularly strong role with Spanish speaking communities in the United States. This new Spanish-language vaccine finder the CDC developed makes it easy to find a location to get the shot, order a free ride to get there, and get information.
It’s amazing what can be done with just a simple text messaging service. Throughout the last year we’ve worked with over 150 governments and health organizations, like WHO and now the CDC, to help counter misinformation, provide updates, and get people vaccinated to end this pandemic. Please help us spread the word to someone you know by tapping https://wa.me/18336361122?text=hola.
Es un honor para nosotros tener la oportunidad de apoyar al gobierno de Estados Unidos en su carrera por lograr que una mayor parte de la ciudadanía se vacune contra el COVID-19 antes de la celebración del 4 de julio, o tan pronto como les sea posible.
Si bien personas de todos los orígenes confían en WhatsApp, sabemos que esta aplicación juega un papel particularmente importante en la comunidad hispanohablante de Estados Unidos. Con el nuevo localizador de vacunas que desarrollaron los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC, por sus siglas en inglés) y que está disponible en español, será más fácil buscar un lugar donde vacunarse, solicitar un traslado gratuito al centro de vacunación y recibir información.
Es increíble lo que se puede lograr con un simple servicio de mensajería de texto. Durante el último año, trabajamos con más de 150 gobiernos y organizaciones de salud, como la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) y ahora los CDC, para ayudar a contrarrestar la desinformación, ofrecer actualizaciones y lograr que las personas se vacunen para terminar con esta pandemia. Por favor, visita el siguiente enlace y ayúdanos a difundir el mensaje entre tus contactos: https://wa.me/18336361122?text=hola.
With more people turning to chat with businesses on WhatsApp, today at F8 Refresh we’re announcing updates to the WhatsApp Business API that will make it quicker for businesses to get started and for people to easily chat with these businesses.
We’ve cut down the time it takes for businesses to get up and running from weeks to just five minutes. Whether a business wants to work with a business solution provider or get support directly from Facebook in the future, these improvements will make it easier for more medium and larger businesses to have customer conversations on WhatsApp.
As more businesses come onto WhatsApp, we’re improving how businesses can communicate with their customers. For example, businesses were often limited to sending timely notifications, which made it difficult to follow up with customers outside of a 24-hour window. So now we’ll support more types of messages -- to let people know when an item is back in stock, for example. We’ve also seen how periodic updates from health authorities about responding to the pandemic have been helpful and we want to make this kind of service available for more types of conversations.
We’re also rolling out new messaging features that can help people get business done faster. New list messages present a menu of up to 10 options so people no longer need to type out a response. Reply buttons will allow people to quickly make a selection from up to three options with just a quick tap that a business can set ahead of time through their WhatsApp Business API account.
As always, people remain in control of their chats. People still need to reach out to start a conversation or request a business contact them via WhatsApp. With these updates, we’re also providing new ways for people to give greater feedback about the experience they are having if they have a reason to block a business.
We want WhatsApp to be the most convenient and personal way for people and businesses to connect, and we’re excited about these new experiences we’re creating to improve business messaging.
WhatsApp is proud to announce a new sticker pack with the World Health Organization (WHO) called “Vaccines for All.” We hope these stickers offer people a fun and creative way to connect and privately express the joy, relief, and hope they feel about the possibilities the COVID-19 vaccines offer, and to show their appreciation for the healthcare heroes who have continued their life-saving work during this long and difficult time.
Since the start of the pandemic, we have partnered with more than 150 national, state, and local governments, and with organizations like WHO and UNICEF, on COVID-19 helplines to connect our over 2 billion users to accurate information and resources. Over 3 billion messages have been sent across these global helplines in the past year.
As the pandemic enters a new phase in many countries, governments are using these helplines to connect citizens privately to accurate vaccine information and registration, in countries such as Indonesia, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, and India. In Indonesia, 500,000 medical workers registered for their vaccine appointments on this service in its first 5 days.
We want to help governments and international organizations connect as many people around the world to vaccine information and services as possible, especially those in hard-to-reach places or in marginalized groups. We've also waived the fees that come from sending messages through our WhatsApp Business API.
As we move slowly, in some countries, towards being together in person, we hope people will continue to share their private thoughts and experiences - and hope - with their family and close friends on WhatsApp.
The “Vaccines for All” sticker pack is available now within WhatsApp.
We're excited to announce that private and secure one-to-one voice and video calls are now available on WhatsApp’s desktop app.
Throughout the last year we've seen significant increases in people calling one another on WhatsApp, often for long conversations. Last New Year’s Eve, we broke the record for the most calls ever made in a single day with 1.4 billion voice and video calls. With so many people still apart from their loved ones, and adjusting to new ways of working, we want conversations on WhatsApp to feel as close to in-person as possible, regardless of where you are in the world or the tech you’re using.
Answering on a bigger screen makes it easier to work with colleagues, see your family more clearly on a bigger canvas, or free up your hands to move around a room while talking. To make desktop calling more useful, we made sure it works seamlessly for both portrait and landscape orientation, appears in a resizable standalone window on your computer screen, and is set to be always on top so you never lose your video chats in a browser tab or stack of open windows.
Voice and video calls on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted, so WhatsApp can’t hear or see them, whether you call from your phone or your computer. We’re starting with one-to-one calls on the WhatsApp desktop app so we make sure we can give you a reliable and high-quality experience. We will be expanding this feature to include group voice and video calls in the future.
We hope people enjoy private and secure desktop calling with their friends and families. You can read more, including how to download the desktop app on Windows PC and Mac here.
As a reminder, we’re building new ways to chat or shop with a business on WhatsApp that are entirely optional. Personal messages will always be end-to-end encrypted, so WhatsApp can’t read or listen to them.
We’ve reflected on what we could have done better here. We want everyone to know our history of defending end-to-end encryption and trust we’re committed to protecting people’s privacy and security. We’re now using our Status feature to share our values and updates directly within WhatsApp. We’ll be doing much more to make our voice clear going forward.
In the coming weeks, we’ll display a banner in WhatsApp providing more information that people can read at their own pace. We’ve also included more information to try and address concerns we’re hearing. Eventually, we’ll start reminding people to review and accept these updates to keep using WhatsApp.
We also think it’s important people know how we can provide WhatsApp for free. Every day millions of people start a WhatsApp chat with a business because it’s easier to do so than placing a phone call or exchanging emails. We charge businesses to provide customer service on WhatsApp - not people. Some shopping features involve Facebook so that businesses can manage their inventory across apps. We display more information directly in WhatsApp so people can choose if they want to engage with businesses, or not.
During this time, we understand some people may check out other apps to see what they have to offer. We’ve seen some of our competitors try to get away with claiming they can’t see people’s messages - if an app doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption by default that means they can read your messages. Other apps say they’re better because they know even less information than WhatsApp. We believe people are looking for apps to be both reliable and safe, even if that requires WhatsApp having some limited data. We strive to be thoughtful on the decisions we make and we’ll continue to develop new ways of meeting these responsibilities with less information, not more.
We deeply appreciate everyone who has helped us address concerns and remain available to answer any questions. We haven’t stopped building for 2021 and can’t wait to share more in the weeks and months ahead.