WhatsApp to completely transform with four major updates to popular message app

Although it started life as a simple messaging app, WhatsApp is quickly evolving into a much more sophisticated social media platform.

As well as allowing you to send end-to-end encrypted messages, WhatsApp lets you send voice notes, run video and voice calls, upload statuses, and start big group chats.

The platform constantly toys with experimental new features however through the WhatsApp beta programme, which you can sign up to using an iPhone or Android device.

Some of these features are due to unleash major changes to the app, transforming the way you interact with your friends and family over the phone.

WhatsApp adding polls to group chats

One new feature coming to the encrypted messaging app is the ability to send polls to your friends or contacts.

Screenshots leaked from the WhatsApp beta programme show that a new poll feature will let users share questions with up to 12 options for others to choose from.

The feature is still under development but development notes suggest that WhatsApp is already laying the groundwork for introducing it.

It could finally help you and your friends settle which pub to visit on the weekend.

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Disappearing photos and videos to become new WhatsApp feature

WhatsApp has had disappearing messages for some time, with texts vanishing after 24 hours, 7 days, or 3 months depending on user preferences.

However, WhatsApp is now said to be adding the ability to open single-view media such as photos or videos in a major Snapchat-style update to the app.

The catch is that it isn't quite ready yet. According to WABetaInfo: "Unfortunately, it is still not possible to send view once photos and videos, but this feature is planned to be released in a future update, so be sure to keep up to date your WhatsApp beta build from the Microsoft Store."

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Messaging forwarding counter lets you see how many times something has been copied

In the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war and the coronavirus pandemic, WhatsApp is introducing a new feature designed to stop the spread of misinformation.

This new tool will stop you forwarding messages to more than one group chat at a time. This is alongside a feature which marks messages as frequently forwarded if they've been sent more than a few times.

While this might help people identify misinformation, it could also give you a really handy way to make sure your friends aren't recycling their jokes to everyone.

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Hide your WhatsApp status from people you're avoiding

One long-awaited feature due to hit WhatsApp soon will let you upload videos, images and GIFs to your status but hide them from specific people or groups.

WABetaInfo said: "When you are sending the media in a WhatsApp chat, you can also choose different recipients, including Status.

"Note that this is already possible when you take a photo from the Camera tab but, thanks to the redesigned interface, it will be possible to choose different recipients right within a WhatsApp chat as well."

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