Today we are excited to share our vision for a new feature we are adding to WhatsApp called Communities. Since WhatsApp launched in 2009, we've been focused on how we can help people have the next best thing to an in-person conversation when they want to talk to an individual or a group of friends or family. We also frequently hear from people who are using WhatsApp to communicate and coordinate within a community.
Organizations like schools, local clubs, and non-profit organizations now rely on WhatsApp to communicate securely and get things done — especially since the pandemic forced us all to find creative ways to work together while apart. Given lots of feedback we’ve received, we think there’s more we can do to make it easier to help people manage these busy conversations among these kinds of groups.
Here’s where Communities comes in. Communities on WhatsApp will enable people to bring together separate groups under one umbrella with a structure that works for them. That way people can receive updates sent to the entire Community and easily organize smaller discussion groups on what matters to them. Communities will also contain powerful new tools for admins, including announcement messages that are sent to everyone and control over which groups can be included.
We think Communities will make it easier for a school principal to bring all the parents of the school together to share must-read updates and set up groups about specific classes, extracurricular activities, or volunteer needs.
We're also making a number of improvements to how groups work on WhatsApp — whether or not they are part of a Community. We think these will help people share in new ways and reduce overload in larger chats. These features are rolling out in the coming weeks so people can start trying them out even before Communities are ready.
Reactions - Emoji reactions are coming to WhatsApp so people can quickly share their opinion without flooding chats with new messages.
Admin Delete - Group admins will be able to remove errant or problematic messages from everyone’s chats.
File Sharing – We’re increasing file sharing to support files up to 2 gigabytes so people can easily collaborate on projects.
Larger Voice Calls – We’ll introduce one-tap voice calling for up to 32 people with all new design for those times when talking live is better than chatting.
Communities are inherently private, which is why we will continue to protect messages with end-to-end encryption. This security technology has truly never been more necessary to protect people’s privacy and safety. Close knit groups — schools, members of a religious congregation, even businesses — very much want and need to be able to have secure and private conversations without WhatsApp monitoring their every word. You can read more about how we’re approaching privacy, safety, and security for Communities here.
While other apps are building chats for hundreds of thousands of people, we’re choosing to focus on supporting the groups that are part of our daily lives. It’s early days for Communities on WhatsApp and building the new features to support them will be a major focus of ours for the year to come. We can’t wait to get Communities in people’s hands and are looking forward to people’s feedback.
When we first launched voice messaging in 2013, we knew that it could change the way people communicate. By keeping the design simple, we’ve made recording and sending a voice message as quick and easy as writing a text. Every day on WhatsApp, our users send 7 billion voice messages on average, all of which are protected by end-to-end encryption to keep them private and secure at all times.
Today, we’re excited to announce new features that make the voice message experience on WhatsApp even better. These include:
Out of Chat Playback: Listen to a voice message outside of the chat so you can multitask or read and respond to other messages.
Pause/Resume Recording: When recording a voice message, you can now pause the recording and resume when ready, in case you’re interrupted or need to gather your thoughts.
Waveform Visualization: Shows a visual representation of the sound on the voice message to help follow the recording.
Draft Preview: Listen to your voice messages before sending them.
Remember Playback: If you pause when listening to a voice message, you can pick up where you left off when you return to the chat.
Fast Playback on Forwarded Messages: Play voice messages at 1.5x or 2x speeds to listen to messages faster on both regular and forwarded messages.
Voice messages have made it quick and easy for people to have more expressive conversations. Showing emotion or excitement through voice is more natural than text, and in many situations, voice messages are the preferred form of communication on WhatsApp. It’s simple for anyone to use - for your family members who prefer to avoid typing, for your friends who love to tell stories, for your peers who need encouraging words, or for when you want to hear your partner's voice at the end of a long day.
We’re excited for users to try these new features as they roll out in the coming weeks.
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.
You can now also transfer your full chat history from Android to iPhone when switching phones and hold onto your WhatsApp chat history.
Move to Android
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. This feature is available on Android 12 and above devices.
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.
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.
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.
Localizador de vacunas de los CDC en WhatsApp disponible en español
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.
Get Started on WhatsApp Faster
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.
Receive Additional Information from Businesses
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.
Respond to Businesses in New Ways
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.