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WhatsApp is rolling out search filters to some beta users

WhatsApp's search function has never been great. It does help you find your conversations and certain keywords if you know what you're looking for, but it has always only displayed text as results. WhatsApp wants to change that, as WABetaInfo and our tipster Moshe have spotted. The developers are testing an Advanced Search mode that helps you narrow down your results with specific filters, like text, images, videos, GIFs, audio, and more.

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Instagram Reels officially goes global to face off against TikTok

Instagram, and then all of Facebook, famously and shamelessly copied the feature that made Snapchat stand out of the crowd: Stories. Now, Instagram is turning its attention toward the latest hot social media platform, TikTok, and has released its own take on it called Reels. The feature, which has been in testing since at least November and seeded to Brazil, is now available globally.

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OnePlus is preloading its phones with Facebook bloatware

Bloatware on Android phones has been around for so long — especially on Samsung and Huawei phones — that it's hardly even news anymore. Even so, it was a huge surprise when we found out that OnePlus has involved itself in this dubious practice. The OxygenOS bloatware in question comes from probably the shadiest company of them all — Facebook. Starting with the OnePlus 8 series and continuing with the Nord, users have had to put up with a bunch of Facebook-owned apps and a few background services on their brand-new handsets, some of which cannot be uninstalled.

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WhatsApp rolling out Search the Web functionality to help fact check viral messages

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, but that also means a lot of misinformation and rumors are shared on the platform. Separating fact from fiction is important, especially with everything this year has thrown at us. Now WhatsApp is starting to roll out a feature that lets users quickly search Google for frequently shared messages to see if there's more info online.

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WhatsApp could soon let you use the same number on multiple phones

WhatsApp has managed to reach a worldwide audience and break through 2 billion monthly users despite a severe handicap: The app doesn't support multiple devices for the same account. One phone number equals one phone or one tablet, that's always been the equation. And while there are workarounds to allow two different numbers on the same phone (for dual-SIM devices or Business users), there hasn't been any trick to make the same number available on two phones or tablets simultaneously. The great news is that WhatsApp is already working on this.

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Facebook Messenger gets screen sharing on mobile

With much of the world having to isolate for an extended period, video conferencing has become ever more popular as people find new ways to stay connected with their family and friends. To keep up with demand, services like Messenger and Google Meet have needed to roll out new features to compete. Facebook added rooms to its messaging platform earlier this year, as well as screen sharing when on the web. As of today, you'll be able to share your mobile screen too.

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How to make a WhatsApp voice or video call with Google Assistant

Last year, Google introduced integrations with WhatsApp that would let you start an audio or video call on the app via Assistant. While the feature is now widely available, the actual commands you need to use to utilize it are a little less than intuitive. You need to phrase things just so in order for Assistant to understand you actually want to use WhatsApp to make a call, which is mildly annoying. Fortunately, we've got a quick and easy guide to get you fluent in Google Assistant speak.

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First evidence of WhatsApp integration pops up in Facebook Messenger

Early last year, we got word that Facebook was considering cross-platform chats between WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger, running on a unified, encrypted backend. After the first small steps towards compatibility in the form of Messenger Rooms in WhatsApp, we now see this cross-app integration taking shape. According to WABetaInfo, a few hints have appeared in Facebook Messenger that reveal how the company is working on a way to contact WhatsApp users through the app.

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WhatsApp begins rolling out dark mode to its desktop and web apps

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, and it's only been getting more feature-rich thanks to recent updates like profile sharing via QR codes and animated stickers in chats. But the company isn't neglecting the basics either, and it's now adding a dark mode for the desktop and web. The rollout has started and will continue over the next couple of weeks.

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WhatsApp is rolling out animated stickers in beta (APK download)

Animated stickers have been available in Telegram and Gboard for a long while, but WhatsApp has only supported static sticker images so far. Be it through the app's few included packs or downloadable third-party packs from the Play Store, you got still image stickers. That's changing now in WhatsApp beta, as the app is introducing animated sticker support.

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