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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.
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.
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.
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.
Google is disabling the Google Photos app's image and video backup for folders created by services like WhatsApp, Messages, and Kik. In essence, that means that by default, photos and videos from those services saved on your phone won't be backed up by Google Photos going forward. The change appears to be temporary, and Google hopes it will make a dent in internet resource utilization during the ongoing pandemic. If you prefer, you can easily revert the change manually to re-enable those backups at any time.
WhatsApp's recently launched digital payments system for Brazil has been suspended merely one week after its launch. The decision was handed down yesterday by Brazil's Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) and the country's Central Bank, both of which are concerned about how it could harm competition with existing institutions in the domestic market.
For years, WhatsApp has been working towards launching its own payment service. While we always thought India would be the first country to see a full-blown rollout of the feature, it looks like Facebook struck a deal with Brazilian partners before. The company has announced that its bringing digital payments to WhatsApp in the Latin American country, powered by Facebook Pay.
WhatsApp's reliance on phone numbers for authentication is part of the reason the app took off so fast — no username, no email, no password, no fuss. But that requirement has become a hindrance over the last few years, be it in the lack of multi-device support or the inability to quickly start chatting with someone without adding them to your phone's contacts first. There are workarounds for the latter, but nothing too straightforward. Now WhatsApp is starting to address this by adding QR codes for profiles in the latest beta.
Demand for video conferencing tools has skyrocketed in recent months, and Facebook has played a relatively minor role in that space despite owning two leadingmessaging apps. Taking steps to mend that, the social media giant introduced Messenger Rooms last month for a more casual video chat experience with small groups. After expanding the service to a worldwide audience, Facebook is now rolling out its integration in WhatsApp, starting in the newest beta.
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messenger platforms in the world, and when they launched WhatsApp Business back in 2018, it provided businesses a great way to connect with customers. And now things are getting a bit simpler for businesses on the service, as they'll be able to link their company's Facebook page to WhatsApp Business in order to sync info from it and run Facebook ads that click to WhatsApp.