WhatsApp, the news has reached everyone: how it works

WhatsApp, the news has reached everyone: how it works

Meta has officially unveiled the new WhatsApp interface, introducing both subtle and significant alterations. Among these changes are certain new features exclusively available to users in the USA.

Surprisingly, the Meta software design team has unveiled a significant innovation for WhatsApp: the fifth major update of the user interface since 2011. This update amalgamates numerous small and large changes implemented over recent months into a comprehensive global update, applicable to both iPhone and Android users.

However, what's peculiar is that while this update integrates many previously announced new features, some of which have already been seen in other apps, it surprisingly excludes a recently introduced feature from the latest beta version. 

The new 2024 interface for WhatsApp on Android and iOS introduces two main innovations: relocating the navigation bar to the bottom of the app and replacing it with three chat filters (All, Unread, Groups) positioned at the top. To access these filters, users need to swipe down on the chat list, as they are situated above the archived chats section.

Additionally, the navigation bar now hosts four buttons: Chats, Updates, Community, and Calls. The Updates button grants access to a section showcasing both contacts' status updates and subscribed channels. Minor interface tweaks include a more restrained use of green in favor of white, subtle animations, and a new attachments area exclusive to iOS.

Adding to these changes is a feature "Ask Meta AI" search bar positioned above the chat filters. This essentially introduces a chatbot within WhatsApp, currently only accessible in English-speaking apps.

Ask Meta AI
© Meta

The role of artificial intelligence within WhatsApp remains somewhat ambiguous. Meta describes Meta AI as a "character" capable of providing answers to user queries, engaging in group chats, offering advice, discussing common interests, interacting with content, and generating AI-driven images in chats.

However, notably absent from this extensive update is a highly anticipated feature concerning channels. Users were expecting the ability to filter channels by topic (e.g., politics, economics, sports) for easier discovery. Although this feature appeared in beta versions, it hasn't been included in the latest update. Currently, the only way to find a channel is by its exact name, hindering the user experience.

It's evident that if WhatsApp aims to elevate channels as an important app feature, significant improvements to the interface and associated functions are necessary. Perhaps the omission of channels from this update signals a dedicated future update aimed at enhancing their functionality.