Tech Thursday: Here are some of the changes you can expect from WhatsApp

WhatsApp and Instagram users can expect more changes to come in the next year after the messaging apps announced that they would rebrand to reflect the fact that they are both owned by Facebook.

The names of the apps will be changed to “Instagram from Facebook” and “WhatsApp from Facebook”.  This has been seen as a largely controversial move since both apps have thrived on their own with their own unique offering, consumers and environment.

A spokeswoman for Facebook said: “We want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook.”

The name change is part of a larger rebranding for WhatsApp, which announced a few more changes as it moves to monetise its offering and integrate some of Facebook’s tools.

Facebook ads on WhatsApp

Users can get ready to see some ads displayed on WhatsApp. According to a tweet during a Facebook Marketing Summit, Facebook will begin publishing adverts on WhatsApp’s status page starting in 2020. The ads will appear on WhatsApp stories in a move to monetise their service.

Facebook also announced that it would be implementing business catalogues within WhatsApp. “With catalogues, businesses can showcase their goods so people can easily discover them,” they said.

WhatsApp Business for iOS

WhatsApp also announced the WhatsApp Business app for iOS. Like the Android version, the WhatsApp Business app for iOS will be free to download from the Apple App Store and will include features to help small businesses and customers communicate.

Voice commands

In July reports from the Android Police reported that Android phone users would be able to read and reply to messages on WhatsApp using Google Voice commands. This would mean that the Google Assistant would be able to create messages and replies to users on WhatsApp. Users would have to grant Google Assistant access in order to use this new feature. You can try this by saying “read my messages” to the Google Assistant.

Share WhatsApp status to Facebook

WaBetaInfo also reported that WhatsApp is currently working to implement a new feature which will allow users to share their WhatsApp status updates to Facebook. Users who have Facebook installed on their smartphone will be able to post a status update on Whatsapp and an “Add to Facebook Story” option will be available.

New add contacts feature

Another new development that is rumoured to be coming to WhatsApp is an option to be able to add contacts by scanning an in-app QR code on your device.

WhatsApp security flaws revealed

Despite all these new changes, new reports by Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., an Israeli company that provides security for computer networks, suggest that WhatsApp is not as secure as people think. The cybersecurity firm identified flaws in WhatsApp that could allow hackers to manipulate messages in both public and private conversations.

These include being able to change the identity of a sender, change the text of someone else’s reply, send a private message to a group member that appears to be a public message and many others. WhatsApp declined to comment and only acknowledged one of the flaws.

Source: Capricorn Review