WhatsApp has been introducing some very cool features lately. And with all those features, the Facebook-owned app is blurring the lines between instant messaging and social networking.

Let’s take a look at the latest new features in WhatsApp.

Two-Factor Authentication

WhatsApp Two-Factor Authentication is a very important and much needed security layer. You can never be too careful with your personal data on the internet. Having Two-factor authentication is a must now. To ensure that someone else can’t hijack your WhatsApp account, enable 2FA right away.

Two-Step Authentication

Go to Settings > Account > Two-step verification and follow the instructions. You’ll be asked to add a six-digit pass-code as well as your email address. The next time you register your phone number with WhatsApp, you will be prompted to key in this pass-code or use the listed email address to get access to your account.

Make the pass-code something you can remember, but not something other people can guess easily. For example, don’t use the last six digits of your phone number as your pass-code. Your birthday probably isn’t a great idea, either.

WhatsApp Status

Following the steps of Snapchat and Instagram Stories, WhatsApp also introduced its ‘Status’ feature, which is quite familiar to those who are addicted to Snapchat. It’s a visual message — a video, photo, or GIF — that is broadcast to all your contacts.

WhatsApp Status

Status has its own tab next to Chats and Calls. In that pane, you will see all the statuses updated by your contacts. Statuses remain active for 24 hours from the time of upload. You can upload multiple statuses in one day.

◘ To see a next or previous status, tap the right or left edge of screen, respectively.
◘ To skip to the next contact’s status, swipe left.
◘ To comment on a status, swipe up.

WhatsApp Status

To upload your status, tap the camera icon next to the status icon. You can choose to shoot a new photo or video – up to 45 seconds – or add a photo or GIF from your gallery. You can draw or write on the status, and even add emoji.

Change Mobile Number and Keep Your Data

If users have changed your phone number, they can still continue to use the same WhatsApp account with all its data intact. Go to Settings > Account > Change number, and follow the given instructions.

Change WhatsApp Number

Anyway, it’s better to backup WhatsApp completely before you start this. To do that, go to Settings > Chats > Chat Backup. Use both WhatsApp’s backup server and Google Drive for your backup.

Once you have changed your number, the process is completely seamless for all your friends. They will see you on their WhatsApp list as before, even though your number has changed.

Search and Share GIFs

WhatsApp added GIF support in its beta app few month ago, and the feature has now rolled out to all users across all platforms. Users can now search for and add GIFs as reactions.

WhatsApp GIF Support

Tap the emoji icon, and you will see two tabs in the pane. The first has emoji, like it always did, while the second lets you search Giphy. You never need to leave the chat window, as searching happens within the app.

You can also add GIFs from your phone. In the gallery attachment, you’ll see three tabs – upload photos, videos, and a third for GIFs.

Share More Than 10 Photos

WhatsApp recently also increased the number of photos you can share at one time. Users can now select up to 30 images at a time and send them together. Earlier, this was limited to 10 photos at a time.

Increased Media Limit

This also extends to WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp’s desktop clients. That’s the best part of this feature, since you are more likely to have an extensive collection of photos on your computer.

Send Offline Messages on iPhone

Android users enjoyed the feature of sending offline messages – for long time – but iPhone users never had that. If an Android user didn’t have an active internet connection, they could still reply to messages, which would be sent whenever they reconnected. But not on the iPhone … until now.

Offline Messaging On iPhone

In the latest iOS update, the app has rolled out this feature, so you can type out and send these messages while offline. They’ll stay on your phone till you regain an internet connection, at which time they will be sent automatically.