With billions of people unable to see their friends and family in person due to COVID-19, people are relying on WhatsApp more than ever to communicate. People are talking to doctors, teachers, and isolated loved ones via WhatsApp during this crisis. That’s why all your messages and calls on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted by default to give you a secure place for your most personal conversations.
Last year we introduced users to the concept of messages that have been forwarded many times. These messages are labeled with double arrows to indicate they did not originate from a close contact. In effect, these messages are less personal compared to typical messages sent on WhatsApp. We are now introducing a limit so that these messages can only be forwarded to one chat at a time.
As a private messaging service, we’ve taken several steps over the years to help keep conversations intimate. For example, we previously set limits on forwarded messages to constrain virality. At the time, we saw a 25% decrease in total message forwards globally.
Is all forwarding bad? Certainly not. We know many users forward helpful information, as well as funny videos, memes, and reflections or prayers they find meaningful. In recent weeks, people have also used WhatsApp to organize public moments of support for frontline health workers. However, we’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of forwarding which users have told us can feel overwhelming and can contribute to the spread of misinformation. We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation.
In addition to this change, we are working directly with NGOs and governments, including the World Health Organization and over 20 national health ministries, to help connect people with accurate information. Together these trusted authorities have sent hundreds of millions of messages directly to people requesting information and advice. You can learn more about these efforts, as well as how to submit potential myths, hoaxes and rumors to fact checking organizations, on our Coronavirus Information Hub.
We believe that now more than ever people need to be able to connect privately. Our teams are hard at work to keep WhatsApp running reliably during this unprecedented global crisis. We’ll continue to listen to your feedback and improve ways for people to share with each other on WhatsApp.
We are very excited to update WhatsApp with the most requested feature from our users everywhere - dark mode.
Dark mode for WhatsApp offers a fresh look on a familiar experience. It’s designed to reduce eye strain in low light environments. And we hope it helps prevent those awkward moments where your phone lights up the room.
When designing dark mode we spent time researching and experimenting with a focus on two particular areas:
Readability: When choosing colors, we wanted to minimize eye fatigue and use colors that are closer to the system defaults on iPhone and Android respectively.
Information Hierarchy: We wanted to help users easily focus their attention on each screen. We did this by using color and other design elements to make sure the most important information stands out.
Users on Android 10 and iOS 13 can use dark mode by enabling it in system settings. Users on Android 9 and below can go into WhatsApp Settings > Chats > Theme > select ‘Dark’.
We hope everyone enjoys dark mode, which is rolling out in the coming days on the latest version of WhatsApp.
We are excited to share that, as of today, WhatsApp supports more than two billion users around the world.
Mothers and fathers can reach their loved ones no matter where they are. Brothers and sisters can share moments that matter. Coworkers can collaborate, and businesses can grow by easily connecting with their customers.
Private conversations that once were only possible face-to-face can now take place across great distances through instant chats and video calling. There are so many significant and special moments that take place over WhatsApp and we are humbled and honored to reach this milestone.
We know that the more we connect, the more we have to protect. As we conduct more of our lives online, protecting our conversations is more important than ever.
That is why every private message sent using WhatsApp is secured with end-to-end encryption by default. Strong encryption acts like an unbreakable digital lock that keeps the information you send over WhatsApp secure, helping protect you from hackers and criminals. Messages are only kept on your phone, and no one in between can read your messages or listen to your calls, not even us. Your private conversations stay between you.
Strong encryption is a necessity in modern life. We will not compromise on security because that would make people less safe. For even more protection, we work with top security experts, employ industry leading technology to stop misuse as well as provide controls and ways to report issues — without sacrificing privacy.
WhatsApp started with the goal of creating a service that is simple, reliable, and private for people to use. Today we remain as committed as when we started, to help connect the world privately and to protect the personal communication of two billion users all over the world.
People love chatting on WhatsApp with their favorite small businesses, but having to exchange multiple messages and photos to get product information is tedious. Today we are making it easier to learn about the products and services businesses offer with the introduction of catalogs in the WhatsApp Business app.
Catalogs are a mobile storefront for businesses to showcase and share their goods so people can easily browse and discover something they would like to buy. Previously businesses had to send product photos one at a time and repeatedly provide information — now customers can see their full catalog right within WhatsApp. This makes business owners look more professional and keeps customers engaged in the chat without having to visit a website.
Like Agradaya, a sustainable herbs and spices business in Indonesia. We gave the founder Andhika Mahardika early access to the catalog feature and he told us that it makes it easier for customers to learn about their products, know the prices and view the images of what they offer — which is essential for serving their customers better.
For each item in its catalog, a business can add information including price, description and product code. WhatsApp hosts these catalogs to save valuable storage space on the phones of both businesses and customers.
Creating a catalog with the WhatsApp Business app takes just a few simple steps. Watch this video to get started:
The catalog feature is available today to businesses using the WhatsApp Business app on both Android and iPhone in Brazil, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S. It will be rolling out around the world soon. We can’t wait to hear how catalogs are helping small businesses connect with their customers and grow.
Earlier this year, we rolled out Touch ID and Face ID for iPhone to provide an extra layer of security for WhatsApp users. Today we’re introducing similar authentication, allowing you to unlock the app with your fingerprint, on supported Android phones. To enable it, tap Settings > Account > Privacy > Fingerprint lock. Turn on Unlock with fingerprint, and confirm your fingerprint.
WhatsApp groups continue to connect family, friends, coworkers, classmates, and more. As people turn to groups for important conversations, users have asked for more control over their experience. Today, we're introducing a new privacy setting and invite system to help you decide who can add you to groups.
To enable it, go to Settings in your app, then tap Account > Privacy > Groups and select one of three options: “Everyone,” “My Contacts,” or “My Contacts Except.” “My Contacts” means only users you have in your address book can add you to groups and “My Contacts Except” provides additional control for who among your contacts can add you to a group.
In those cases, an admin who can’t add you to a group will be prompted to send a private invite through an individual chat, giving you the choice of joining the group. You'll have three days to accept the invite before it expires.
With these new features, users will have more control over the group messages they receive. These new privacy settings will begin rolling out to some users starting today and will be available worldwide in the coming days to those using the latest version of WhatsApp.
UPDATE: Based on feedback from users during our initial rollout, instead of the “Nobody” option we are now providing a “My Contacts Except” option. This allows you to choose to exclude specific contacts or “select all”. This update is rolling out to users around the world on the latest version of WhatsApp.
One of the most frequent requests we've heard from small business owners is they want to use the WhatsApp Business app on the device of their choice.
Now they can.
Today we're introducing the WhatsApp Business app for iOS. Like the Android version — which over the last year has been adopted by millions of businesses around the world — the WhatsApp Business app for iOS will be free to download from the Apple App Store and will include features to help small businesses and customers communicate. These include:
Business Profile: Share useful information about your business such as a business description, email or store addresses, and website.
Messaging Tools: Respond to customers easily with efficient messaging tools — quick replies to provide fast answers to frequently asked questions, greeting messages to introduce customers to your business and away messages to let them know when to expect a reply.
WhatsApp Web: Chat from your desktop to manage conversations and send files to customers.
The WhatsApp Business app is available today and free to download from the App Store in Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, India, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S. The app will be rolling out around the world in the coming weeks.
Whether it's an online sweet shop in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil that closes 60 percent of its sales via WhatsApp Business or a cinnamon roll company in Tijuana, Mexico that credits WhatsApp Business for allowing it to open a second location, small business owners all over the world are using the app to grow. We're excited to bring the WhatsApp Business app to even more small businesses and hear new stories about how it's helping them succeed.
It’s been 10 years since we started WhatsApp! Over the past decade, we’ve heard from people across the globe who are using WhatsApp to stay in touch with their loved ones, connect with their communities, and build businesses. These stories continue to inspire us, and to celebrate this milestone, we’re looking back at some of our biggest moments over the years.
We’re excited to continue building features that make WhatsApp even more simple and reliable for everyone. Thank you to all of our users around the world for coming with us on this journey!
At WhatsApp, we care deeply about private messaging, and today we're excited to introduce Touch ID and Face ID on iPhone to help prevent someone from taking your phone and reading your messages.
To enable the iPhone feature in WhatsApp, tap Settings > Account > Privacy > Screen Lock and turn on Touch ID or Face ID. You have the option to select the amount of time before Touch ID or Face ID is prompted after WhatsApp is closed.
This feature is available on iPhone 5s or later and on iOS 9 and above starting today.
In January of last year we launched the WhatsApp Business app, and now there are more than five million businesses using it to support customers, grow their businesses and serve their communities all over the world. We're excited that we've helped millions of businesses grow. For example, in India, Bengaluru-based eyewear brand Glassic has told us that 30 percent of its new sales are generated through WhatsApp Business.
To help celebrate the first year of WhatsApp Business, we're announcing that some of our most popular features can now be used on WhatsApp web and desktop. These features include:
Quick Replies: These are frequent messages to answer common questions. Simply press the “/” on your keyboard to select a quick reply and send.
Labels: Organize your contacts or chats with labels, so you can easily find them again.
Chat List Filtering: Easily manage your chats with filters to sort by unread messages, groups or broadcast lists.
Using these features on a computer helps businesses save time and get back to their customers quickly. We're excited to keep growing WhatsApp Business and introducing new features that make it easy for customers to find and engage with businesses that are important to them.