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WhatsApp Beta Update Brings Profile QR Codes to Let You Add Contacts Easily

WhatsApp Beta Update Brings Profile QR Codes to Let You Add Contacts Easily

The new QR Code feature is currently available on WhatsApp Beta, but there is no word on the official launch yet.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 22, 2020, 8:07 PM IST

WhatsApp is all set to introduce a Snapchat-like feature that will now make it easier for users to add new contacts just by scanning a QR code. The QR code feature, which is assumed to have been in development for quite some time, will be rolled out to both iOS and Android devices, and will offer a unique QR code to every user to help add contacts easily.

According to WABetaInfo, the QR Code feature will appear under the Profile settings. Sharing it will allow a user to let anyone add them to their contacts list, without going through the convoluted process that is in place right now. To add contacts, there will also be an option to ‘scan code’, which will allow users to add a contact to WhatsApp directly.

The QR code contact addition feature can be particularly beneficial to WhatsApp Business users, who can quickly share their contacts to receive orders or payments. This can particularly find implementation in shops that use WhatsApp for official purposes, and may also enhance the WhatsApp Pay experience that is set to be rolled out some time in future.

As for the public launch of the QR code feature, there is no word on when might this feature roll out in the stable build. WhatsApp has had an erratic history with beta features, and while some features have made it to the stable builds quite swiftly, others, such as the much hyped Dark Mode, took rather look to come out of beta. Reports further suggest that the QR code scanning feature of WhatsApp may also allude to the multi-device account support that is expected soon, which may also be coming soon.




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WhatsApp Dark Mode for Web: How to Get Dark Theme on WhatsApp Browser Interface

WhatsApp Dark Mode for Web: How to Get Dark Theme on WhatsApp Browser Interface

WhatsApp Web dark mode is not an officially integrated feature, but you can get it easily without disrupting other pages or installing browser plugins.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 19, 2020, 9:18 AM IST
  • Edited by: Shouvik Das

WhatsApp dark mode can now be implemented in the WhatsApp Web browser client as well, without disrupting other browser pages or installing any plugin on to your browser. The dark mode implementation gives users the darkened theme without taking anything away from the performance of other open tabs on your browser, and it is only a simple little trick that gets the job done.

To get dark mode on WhatsApp Web, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Once the WhatsApp Web client is open, right click on the empty area outside of the chats, and click on the ‘inspect page’ tab. If you cannot see an empty area around your WhatsApp browser client, use Ctrl + ‘-‘ (minus) to zoom out.
  2. Once you click on ‘inspect’, a splitscreen view will open up to show you the coding elements of the WhatsApp Web page. On this section, towards the very top of the chart, find the line that reads body class=“web”.
  3. Double-click on this line to switch on the cursor, and change ‘web’ to ‘web dark’. Now, the line of code here should look like body class=“web dark”.

While the background of the chat windows are set to a super dark shade of olive green, the chat tabs are set to a slightly lighter shade. Received messages show up on a grey text snippet, while sent messages are encased in lighter green bubbles. Despite not being officially baked into the WhatsApp Web client’s settings, the overall dark theme looks quite appealing and professionally put together.

WhatsApp Dark Mode on Android and iOS phones were rolled out with much hype and fanfare. Through 2019, it made for the most wanted WhatsApp feature among its 2 billion-odd active users, and going forward, WhatsApp’s implementation of a system-tied dark theme has been received quite well among its audience.

 




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WhatsApp Users, Messenger Rooms is Coming Soon: Here is How to Get it on Android Right Now

Image: WABetaInfo

Image: WABetaInfo

Messenger Rooms feature lets you do group video calls with up to 50 people. This comes at a time when video calling apps are a rage and gives Facebook an advantage in terms of a potential user base as it competes with the likes of Zoom, Microsoft’s Skype and more.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 17, 2020, 9:47 AM IST

The Facebook Messenger Rooms is now available for WhatsApp for Android, well, at least those users who want to try out the latest beta of the popular instant messaging app. The latest beta incudes the Messenger Rooms feature with lets you do group video calls with up to 50 people. After it became globally available on Facebook or the Messenger app depending on which country you are in, the rollout has now started on WhatsApp as well.

For this, you need to download the WhatsApp for Android beta 2.20.163 on your Android phone. This comes from the ever-reliable folks over at WABetaInfo. This feature is still being activated globally, and you may not initially get it. But have patience, it will happen. If Messenger Rooms is available for you, it will show up as Rooms in the chat sheet in any chat window—the same menu that allows you to share documents, location, contacts and access the gallery on the phone to share photos and videos.

Secondly, if you go to the Calls tab in WhatsApp for Android beta, you will see the Create a Room option when you tap on the calling button to add or dial contacts.

From what we can figure out about the current implementation of Messenger Rooms in WhatsApp, you will still be directed to the Messenger app to continue using the group calling feature. This could be a very smart way of driving more downloads of Facebook’s Messenger app. The requirements of end-to-end encryption could perhaps be the main reason, which is why Facebook has been looking to get all its apps under one encryption family to allow seamless interoperability.

Initially, Messenger Rooms’ that allows up to 50 people in one group video chat, could be accessed via Facebook or Messenger apps and desktop versions and remains free of charge to use. Globally, users can create new Rooms via the Messenger app for the time being, while users in the US can create a room from Facebook. Now, WhatsApp is set to get this feature as well.

It is expected that the WhatsApp beta for the iPhone should also soon get the Messenger Rooms feature, which would mean we are one step closer to the final release for all users globally.

The integration with WhatsApp, which has more than 2 billion users worldwide, gives Facebook an advantage in terms of a potential user base as it competes with apps such as Zoom, Microsoft’s Skype, Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Houseparty and more.




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Messenger Rooms, Facebook's 50-Person Zoom Alternative, is Now Available Worldwide

Taking on Zoom and other video conferencing apps like Google Meet and Microsoft Teams, Facebook has rolled out its group video chat Messenger Rooms globally that allows free video calls with up to 50 people with no time limit. Rooms can be created right from Messenger or Facebook and give people the ability to share links to invite anyone to join, even if they don’t have a Facebook account.

“You can start and share rooms on Facebook through News Feed, Groups and Events, so it’s easy for you to drop by whenever you want. You can choose who can see and join your room or remove people from your room and lock the room if you don’t want anyone else to join,” explained Stan Chudnovsky, VP of Messenger. For Facebook’s business, Messenger Rooms is an opportunity to realign its messaging products as popular video chat alternatives like Zoom.

To create your room, download the latest version of the Facebook and Messenger mobile app from the Apple Store or Google Play Store and the Messenger Desktop app from the Microsoft Store or Mac App Store. Facebook users globally can create a room from Messenger, and users in North America can create a room from Facebook.

“We’re also starting to roll out the ability to host up to 50 people in a room globally,” Chudnovsky said in a statement on Thursday. Facebook earlier announced that its group video chat Messenger Rooms is available within Groups and Events.

Members can also add link sharing to make it easier to invite more people to their room, including people who aren’t friends, a member of the group or who don’t have Facebook or Messenger. Members and admins can create a Room from the Groups composer. The group composer will show active Groups focused chats that people can join.

There can be many chat rooms per individual group. Rooms that already include 50 people will not be able to add any additional group members, including admins. Admins have the ability to allow Messenger Rooms within their group or make Rooms “admin only” so only admins can create but anyone can join.

“Or allow any person within the group to create a room. To help admins keep their communities safe, admins will have the ability to delete any video chat room,” said Facebook. If a group has post approvals on, Admins will be the only ones who can create a Room, unless the admin changes the setting. For groups that don’t have post approvals on, the default will be anyone in the group can create a Room, it added.

To help people connect more easily and accurately, Facebook has started to roll out the ability to mark a Facebook Event as an “Online Event.” Reports surfaced that Facebook Messenger Rooms shortcut will soon be available on WhatsApp’s Web version. It will enable users to connect with their friends and family via Messenger Rooms from their PCs and laptops.



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Chrome Might Soon Integrate Google Duo to Compete Against WhatsApp

Image for Representation

Image for Representation

Integrating Duo with Chrome could help Google expand its reach to millions around the world.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 14, 2020, 4:16 PM IST

Video conferencing apps have been making headlines ever since the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to stay indoors. It all began with the fairly new Chinese video meetings app Zoom that attracted a lot of limelight thanks to its simple controls and the ability to add 100 participants, thus forcing existing players to ramp up their apps.

Recently we saw Facebook launching Messenger Rooms that allows group video calls of up to 50 people. It even updated WhatsApp’s video call feature to support up to eight participants with plans to expand to 50. Eventually, Facebook plans to integrate Messenger Rooms with WhatsApp for Web.

Google has also been trying its level best to stay in the competition. While it has multiple apps for consumers, it is now said to be integrating Google Duo with its Chrome web browser.

Google recently expanded the maximum number of participants in a Duo video call to 12 and by pushing it to the world’s most popular web browser could be a smart move. The feature is said to be in preview at the moment, which means that it should launch soon to all users post the beta testing. Considering Chrome is used by about 67 percent of all desktop web users, with just a simple integration, Google could expand the reach of Duo to millions. Google recently made its video conferencing app Meet completely free for anyone with a future integration with Gmail on the cards.




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WhatsApp to Soon Support 50-People Video Calls With Messenger Rooms Integration

WhatsApp to Soon Support 50-People Video Calls With Messenger Rooms Integration

After launching Messenger Rooms, Facebook seems to be planning to integrate it with the web version of WhatsApp.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 12, 2020, 4:14 PM IST

A new report suggests that Messenger Rooms will soon be making its way to the web version of WhatsApp. According to WABetaInfo, known for beta testing the popular messaging app, a shortcut for Messenger Rooms has been enabled on WhatsApp Web version 2.2019.6.

This essentially means that It will enable users to connect with their peers via Messenger Rooms from their PCs and laptops. While this new version hasn’t been rolled out to all users yet, it is reported that it would be soon available to WhatsApp users via future updates.

The shortcut is said to appear under the Attach button along with other options. Clicking on the shortcut will automatically take users to the Messenger Rooms window to begin a video call. The feature will also ask users if they want to create a room from WhatsApp or head to Facebook Messenger to create the room. Users will also be able to make either a group video call or Messenger Rooms call from either WhatsApp Web or Messenger. The host of the video will be able to send a link for the call and participants simply need to click on it to join. One will also be able to invite people to the video call via the Facebook news feed, events page, groups and so on. To join the video chat a person doesn’t need to have a Facebook account or be friends with the host on Facebook.

There is no confirmation as to when the commercial rollout of the integration is going to happen, but it could take a while since Messenger Rooms hasn’t launched globally as of yet.

Facebook launched Messenger Rooms last month to take on Zoom and other various video conferencing platforms. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to a huge spike in the adoption of such apps so as to maintain social distancing with friends, families and at work. Messenger Rooms allows group video calls of up to 50 people with no time limit. Users can create a room using Messenger or Facebook, and invite their friends and family to join the video call, even if they don’t have a Facebook account.




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WhatsApp Web to Soon Get Messenger Rooms Integration: Here's How it Will Work

WhatsApp Web to Soon Get Messenger Rooms Integration: Here's How it Will Work

After launching Messenger Rooms, Facebook seems to be planning to integrate it with the web version of WhatsApp.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 11, 2020, 11:27 AM IST

A new report suggests that Messenger Rooms will soon be making its way to the web version of WhatsApp. According to WABetaInfo, known for beta testing the popular messaging app, a shortcut for Messenger Rooms has been enabled on WhatsApp Web version 2.2019.6.

This essentially means that It will enable users to connect with their peers via Messenger Rooms from their PCs and laptops. While this new version hasn’t been rolled out to all users yet, it is reported that it would be soon available to WhatsApp users via future updates.

The shortcut is said to appear under the Attach button along with other options. Clicking on the shortcut will automatically take users to the Messenger Rooms window to begin a video call. The feature will also ask users if they want to create a room from WhatsApp or head to Facebook Messenger to create the room. Users will also be able to make either a group video call or Messenger Rooms call from either WhatsApp Web or Messenger. The host of the video will be able to send a link for the call and participants simply need to click on it to join. One will also be able to invite people to the video call via the Facebook news feed, events page, groups and so on. To join the video chat a person doesn’t need to have a Facebook account or be friends with the host on Facebook.

There is no confirmation as to when the commercial rollout of the integration is going to happen, but it could take a while since Messenger Rooms hasn’t launched globally as of yet.

Facebook launched ‘Messenger Rooms’ last month to take on Zoom and other various video conferencing platforms. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to a huge spike in the adoption of such apps so as to maintain social distancing with friends, families and at work. Messenger Rooms allows group video calls of up to 50 people with no time limit. Users can create a room using Messenger or Facebook, and invite their friends and family to join the video call, even if they don’t have a Facebook account.




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What is WhatsApp Aiming For? Rule The Video Meetings Space? Be a Super App? World Domination?

WhatsApp and mind-boggling numbers go hand in hand. As of February, WhatsApp had crossed 2 billion users worldwide. It is by far the most popular instant messaging app in the world, followed by its own sibling, Facebook Messenger. Chances are everyone you know is using WhatsApp. It is to instant messaging what Xerox is to photocopying. That being said, Facebook isn’t about to let a low hanging fruit get away. WhatsApp could very well be in the prime position to become the default name for the video calling, group calling and video meeting requirements for millions around the world. While the competition remains busy trying to compete with each other.

Look at the traction that the Coronavirus pandemic has translated into. Zoom clarified and said they clocked 300 million users in April. Houseparty, an app owned by Fortnite developer Epic Games, clocked more than two million downloads in early March, as the first stages of the lockdown around the world kicked in. Facebook says video-calling on Messenger had straight doubled since last year. Microsoft has said that there are more than 200 million meeting participants in a single day in April, and there were more than 4.1 billion meeting minutes generated. Teams now has more than 75 million daily active users, confirmed Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

WhatsApp builds from a foundation of strength. It has a massive user base, like no other.

Messenger Rooms is one part of the plan

It was just last month that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said how as many as 700 million users around the world are using Messenger and WhatsApp for calls. That’s voice calls and video calls to colleagues, friends and family. It is not surprising then that Facebook wants to do everything to not only keep this user base engaged, but also away from rivals such as Zoom, Google Meet, Skype and others. That would be true for the business use case and for personal users as well. What arrived on the scene was Messenger Rooms. It allows a maximum of 50 participants in a group video call. That’s the same limit as Skype’s Skype Now. Even though Zoom offers the ability to get 100 people to join as part of the free subscription tier, WhatsApp has the added advantage of familiarity, almost everyone has it and well, Zoom has been haunted by privacy issues for a while now.

The fact is that Messenger Rooms is so versatile, you can start or join a Rooms chat from Messenger, Facebook, Instagram Direct, WhatsApp, or even the Portal smart display. That is the power and extent of Facebook’s ecosystem of apps truly making their presence felt.

The thing is, when we talk of video calling apps and video conferencing solutions, we immediately visualize a meeting that has 100+ people, all trying to get their message across as part of a corporate jamboree. That is not always the case. More often than not, it is smaller teams that need to connect, for a quick brainstorming session, for a status update, quick guidance or simply to drop in and say hello. For that to work, it is just clunky and ostentatious to have to set up a meeting, share a meeting link and a password and download a separate app on your phone or PC.

Simplicity is what really is WhatsApp’s strongest point here. It is as simple as picking up your phone or opening WhatsApp web, ticking off the list of contacts you want in the meeting and making a call. You spend lesser time on the riffraff. Be it for the Messenger Rooms or for the now more-powerful Group calling.

Simplicity is WhatsApp’s strongest point. It just works.

Group Video Calls are equally brilliant for work and fun

A few days ago, a new update for WhatsApp for Android phones and the Apple iPhones landed with the more powerful group calling feature. Instead of 4, you can now get 8 people on a group voice or video call. “Over the last month, people on average are spending over 15 billion minutes talking each day on WhatsApp calls, well above a typical day before the pandemic, WhatsApp had said at the time. More friends can be part of the social distancing catch-up. More colleagues can join in and share brilliant ideas on how to go about things. This will work even on Android phones or iPhones that are old and not as powerful anymore—it is priceless for those who may still be rocking older smartphones. The same flexibility cannot exactly be vouched for, for the other video meeting apps. Except perhaps FaceTime, which works brilliantly on all iPhones, no matter how old.

All that being said, it is still lesser than 32 participants that Apple FaceTime allows, the 12-person limit that Google Duo now has and Skype which supports 50 participants. If that really a limitation? Perhaps not.

End to End Encryption remains its strongest suite

If you don’t really want a scenario where the privacy of your calls is not exactly a certainty and the promises sound a bit dodge, chances are you’ll stay away from Zoom. In that regard, WhatsApp has pushed the end-to-end encryption capabilities extensively over time. “And just like written messages, all those calls are protected with end-to-end encryption,” they did the same with the new group calling too.

In fact, Messenger Rooms will also have end-to-end encryption enabled for all calls. Simply put, it makes it extremely unlikely that anyone will able to eavesdrop on your conversation as it traverses the depths of the world wide web, without your knowledge.

With Rooms and Group Calling, Facebook’s idea is simple. It is not to try and be the platform that tries to appeal to casual users, small groups, smaller teams, medium sized meetings and large enterprises—basically redevelop the app to a one-size fits all. It is to be versatile enough for different use cases, and that is where the volumes could very well be.

Facebook’s idea for WhatsApp is not to be a one-size fits all. It is to be versatile enough for different use cases

WhatsApp builds from a foundation of strength. It has a massive user base, like no other. It has usage statistics and insights that tell exactly how people use video calling and group calling features. It has something for pretty much everyone now.

Ads in WhatsApp are coming, no two ways about it

While WhatsApp is like no other instant messaging app in the world, it does have one glaring shortcoming. From the business side of things. It doesn’t make money for Facebook. It has to be monetized at some stage. That is how a business makes financial sense. There has been talk for a while now that ads would eventually make their way into the WhatsApp app. It hasn’t happened so far, but don’t bet on the status quo for too long. Ads in WhatsApp Status could be the start. How Facebook manages opening doors to its platform for advertisers and yet be able to secure user data privacy is a matter for another debate.

That is where Facebook’s plan to unify WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook with one encryption platform could help.

WhatsApp Pay could provide the big boost

Last but not least is the final piece of the jigsaw for WhatsApp. Digital payments. This will be particularly good in developing economies such as India, where mobile based payments are a big deal. The much-awaited UPI mobile payments service got the approvals from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in February, for what will be a phased roll-out. The first phase will mean 10 million users. This will also fit in perfectly with the Government of India’s push for digital payments, as part of the Digital India mission.

Facebook surely has Paytm, the incredibly popular mobile payments and shopping platform, in its sights. As of August, Paytm had planned an injection of Rs 750 crore to clock 250 million monthly users by the end of the financial year. That is the user demographic that Facebook will be looking at. It won’t be a challenge to find these users though, because chances are high that almost every single one of these 250 million Paytm users will also have WhatsApp installed on their phones.

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