New WhatsApp features that could come out in 2020 – including self-deleting texts and multiple devices

WHATSAPP has gone update-mad in recent months, adding a bunch of handy new features including the long-awaited Dark Mode.

The app isn't stopping there though, with tonnes of extra tools rumoured for release in 2020 – here are five of the best.

Add friends using QR codes

Adding friends on WhatsApp can be a bit of a bore, with users forced to create a new contact and plug in names and phone numbers manually.

That could be about to change with the addition of a new feature that lets you add contacts by scanning a QR code.

The two-dimensional Matrix-style codes can only be read by a smartphone's camera and are already part of WhatsApp's login process for web browsers.

According to WABetaInfo, a site that regularly turfs up WhatsApp features long before they launch, the new tool is in the early stages of development.

If you want to add a mate on the app, they'll first need to bring up their unique QR code by heading to their settings.

You can then scan the code by opening the Scan Code tab. That person's phone number is then instantly added to your contacts.

If your QR code gets into the wrong hands, you can revoke it and get a new one an unlimited number of times.

The feature is still in development and will be available on iOS and Android, likely within the next few months.

Multiple device support

You'll soon be able to log in to WhatsApp on multiple devices at once, according to reports.

The app currently only lets you sign in to one phone or tablet at a time – though you can concurrently log in via a web browser if you like.

Once you sign in on a new device, you're automatically logged out of your old one. Not for long, according to WABetaInfo.

The app will allegedly soon let you log in to multiple devices, for example: Two smartphones, a smartphone and a tablet and more.

WhatsApp self-destructing messages

WhatsApp has apparently built a feature that seedy cheating lovers are sure to enjoy – self-destructing messages.

The app is testing a new type of message that automatically deletes itself to stop prying eyes from snooping on your chats.

First cooked up by Snapchat and later "nicked" by Instagram, the auto-deleting post allows users to set a time limit for how long their messages show.

It helps keep chats truly private, as your conversations are hidden even if someone knows the passcode to your phone.

WhatsApp is now trialling its own version on Android, according to WAbetaInfo.

The site trawls the code of early versions of WhatsApp to find upcoming features ahead of time.

While it's not currently available to everyone, WhatsApp is testing the feature on a small group of users. It will likely roll it out to everyone at a later date.

The feature will work in both group chats and one-on-one conversations.

You'll reportedly be able to switch it on or off or change the time limit before a deletion in your settings.

WhatsApp – a quick history

Here's what you need to know…

  • WhatsApp was created in 2009 by computer programmers Brian Acton and Jan Koum – former employees of Yahoo
  • It's one of the most popular messaging services in the world
  • Koum came up with the name WhatsApp because it sounded like "what's up"
  • After a number of tweaks the app was released with a messaging component in June 2009, with 250,000 active users
  • It was originally free but switched to a paid service to avoid growing too fast. Then in 2016, it became free again for all users
  • Facebook bought WhatsApp Inc in February 2014 for $19.3billion (£14.64bn)
  • The app is particularly popular because all messages are encrypted during transit, shutting out snoopers
  • As of 2020, WhatsApp has over 2billion users globally

WhatsApp in-app browser

WhatsApp is reportedly working on a web browser that works within the app.

The browser will launch whenever you click a link someone has sent you.

Currently, users clicking a link are forced to open it up in their phone's browser, such as Safari or Google Chrome.

Adding an in-app browser like those featured in the Facebook and Instagram apps would reduce the time it takes to open links.

WhatsApp catfish-exposing 'reverse image search'

Catfishing could become a thing of the past as WhatsApp is reportedly creating a reverse image searching ability for the app.

The new 'Search by Image' feature is not available yet as it is still being tested but people who sign up to be a WhatsApp beta tester may eventually get access to it.

The feature will allow users to click on images they are sent over WhatsApp and search them in Google to verify their source.

This could help to reduce the spread of fake news as well as making it harder for people to catfish others by using images that are not of them.

WhatsApp beta for Android 2.19.73 is said to be the version of the messaging tool being tested for its ability to carry out reverse Google image searches directly from the app.

The app uses Google Custom Search to give it search engine capabilities.

In other news, you can sign up to the beta version of WhatsApp to get all of the latest features before the general public.

Find out how to read deleted WhatsApp messages on your phone.

And, this secret trick lets you change your WhatsApp font to confuse your mates.

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