November 3, 2022
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
Last Updated: July 20, 2022
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.