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whatsapp

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WhatsApp updates Terms of Service and Privacy Policy to add sharing information with Facebook

WhatsApp today has updated its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for the first time in four years, to reflect changes made in the app since that time. Perhaps the most important changes regard information sharing with Facebook and the 'Facebook family of companies,' and updates concerning WhatsApp Calling, which launched over a year ago now.

The changes regarding Facebook mean that some information on a WhatsApp account can be shared with Facebook to help improve the company's products and services. This should allow for better spam fighting and abuse, as well as seeing "better friend recommendations and more relevant ads on Facebook."

So what information is actually being shared from WhatsApp to Facebook?

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[It's slowly happening!] You can now send videos as GIFs in WhatsApp, no hacks needed

GIF support in WhatsApp is coming soon. I know it, you know it, we all know it's already baked into the Android app (only requiring a small switch from a root-only app to enable it) and there's even a WhatsApp Animated GIFs folder inside the WhatsApp directory on our local phone's storage that's just taunting us hard. But for those of us who don't want to root our devices or install unofficial hacks, there's light on the horizon.

The first GIF support instance has shown up in WhatsApp and I was able to verify it on beta version 2.16.242.

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Google Allo's voice messaging interface looks awesome, with an eery resemblance to WhatsApp's

Google Allo is clearly one of the most audacious apps to be released by the company in recent times. Not only is it a departure from what Google has long been invested in doing with Hangouts, but it's also trying to catch up in one swift release with competing messaging apps that have been around the block for many years and have had time to perfect their approach.

So it seems logical that the Allo team got some "inspiration" from other messaging services. I can think of a couple of reasons why many of the screenshots we've obtained of Allo eerily resemble WhatsApp — and maybe other messaging apps too (I wouldn't know, I only use WhatsApp so it's the only one I can compare these against).

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WhatsApp now lets you share and forward a message to multiple chats (with frequent chats on top)

There are dozens of planned WhatsApp features coming soon (GIF support, video calling, image annotation, and more that some were able to trigger with a bit of root know-how), but I'm not here to taunt you with things that you can't play with yet. So let's talk about a feature that's already live.

In the latest beta of WhatsApp, 2.16.230, there's a new option that will make life for a lot of you easier: multi-select when forwarding or sharing a message. No longer will you have to send a message to one chat, then go back and do it again to send to another, and so on until all your groups and friends and maybe even your mom have seen that awesome screenshot of the Dragonite you just caught.

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[Update: Brazil court freezes $11.7M of Facebook funds] Judge in Brazil orders WhatsApp blocked once again

WhatsApp is hugely popular in Brazil where mobile subscribers pay high rates for cellular calls and messaging. WhatsApp isn't getting as much use today as a Brazilian judge has ordered the country's five wireless providers to block access to the service. Unlike past blackouts, this one does not include an end date—it's intended to continue until WhatsApp complies with a court order to turn over information. However, it says the requested information doesn't exist.

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WhatsApp adds Voicemail and Call Back options, new Fixedsys font

A few weeks ago, we reported about WhatsApp's plans to add a voicemail-like feature to its voice calls as well as an easy option to call back the person. At the time, all we had were translation strings, but now the feature is live on version 2.16.189 beta (which you can grab from APK Mirror here or by joining the Play Store beta). There are two other small features that were added a few beta versions ago that I'll cover in this post as well.

Voicemail and Call back

After you make a voice call on WhatsApp and your contact either declines the call or it goes unanswered, you will see a new "Call declined" screen with three new round buttons.

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WhatsApp has received many small UI changes lately: continuous scroll in history (finally!), new group and broadcast layouts, olympic emoji, more

It's been a while since we've done these WhatsApp posts to talk about all the little changes that the app has received and that don't warrant an entire post. But they've started to add up and it's finally time for me to sit down, sift through the hundreds of tips emails and chats and screenshots, find the different modifications, and tell you all about them in case you missed them.

Some of these changes go as far back as the beginning of May and version 2.16.76 of WhatsApp while others are new and only seen in the most recent 2.16.141 beta.

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[Can you hear me now?] A jaw-dropping 100 million WhatsApp voice calls are made each day

WhatsApp's voice calling doesn't seem like it has changed a lot since it was first tested as an invite-only feature then released to everyone in March of 2015. But the service, from my personal experience, has become more reliable, less spotty, with fewer delays and disconnections. Around me, everyone uses WhatsApp calls, because everyone is on WhatsApp to begin with, but also because local calls still aren't unlimited or cheap on any plan, not to mention the exorbitant prices of international calls. WhatsApp calls have almost completely replaced regular calls for us, and it's not hard to imagine that it must be the same in other countries where WhatsApp is popular too.

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WhatsApp 2.16.118 Beta Adds Message Quotes And Replies

We've been getting reports over the past couple of hours of WhatsApp showing a reply button when you select any message. Let's start by clarifying this: it's not exactly WhatsApp 2.16.118 beta that's adding this quote feature, but your best bet to see it is on this latest beta version. It might be a server-side switch because some users have reported it on 2.16.116 and 117, but from our testing on a couple of devices, it wasn't there. It only showed up when we updated to 2.16.118, and even then, we had to uninstall and reinstall the app on some phones to get it to work.

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You Can Now Share GIFs On Viber, WhatsApp Users Flip Out (And Other New Viber Features)

WhatsApp users (you and me both), it's time to raise your pitchforks and descend into battle. We've asked time and time again for the messaging service to add GIF support, you've whined in the comments section, we've whined in our private conversations with friends that we're sick of sending them links to GIFs and we just wanted, pretty please, to insert a freaking GIF like God Intended Forrealz inside a conversation and have it display just as any other image or video. But no, we still don't have that. Guess who has it as of today though? Viber.

Gah. I'm infuriated.

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