WhatsApp is the world’s most popular mobile messaging app. It recently crossed a landmark threshold of 100 billion messages being sent daily. The Facebook-owned platform has constantly been offering improvements and additions since its launch in the late 2000s.
Between VoIP and video calls, improved privacy controls, biometric authentication, and Any.do integration, we’ve seen loads of features come to the platform in recent years. There’s plenty more the company could bring to the table, however. With that in mind, we look at a few features WhatsApp should bring over from rival messaging apps.
1. Multiple number support (Telegram)
One of the downsides to using WhatsApp is that it doesn’t officially play nicely with multiple numbers. The dual apps feature seen on devices by Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, and several other brands allows you to run two accounts on one phone, but it’s not a particularly elegant solution.
Telegram has native support for multiple numbers though, allowing you to have up to three accounts on one app. We’d definitely like to see this feature implemented in an official capacity on WhatsApp as well.
2. Note to Self (Signal)
Signal is one of the few mobile messaging apps that give you your own space to create notes, save URLs, and more. Dubbed “Note to Self,” this looks just like any other contact in your list. However, it is reserved for your own notes. In a sensible touch, notes are synchronized with linked devices too.
You could technically replicate the feature by creating a group with someone else and then kicking the contact out, leaving you as the sole member. Nevertheless, it’d be much better to see a native option in WhatsApp.
3. Polls (Telegram, Threema)
Another neat Telegram feature (and one found in IM app Threema as well) is the ability to run polls for groups and channels. Telegram later built on this foundation with Polls 2.0, enabling quizzes, multiple answers, and a few more extras.
A poll feature like this would be welcomed in WhatsApp. It could allow you to quickly decide on a lunch venue with friends (pandemic notwithstanding), for example. Hopefully, the company implements this particular feature sooner rather than later as it seems like a natural fit for the platform.
4. Blur faces before sending images (Signal)
Signal has plenty of privacy-focused features. The ability to blur faces in an image before sending it to a contact is one such thoughtful addition. This can be activated by simply tapping the checkered blur icon next to the pen icon, then toggling the ‘blur faces’ option and/or drawing to blur.
We’d like to see something similar come to WhatsApp, allowing you to share images without compromising the privacy of others who happen to be in the scene. This could be particularly useful for protests, where authorities use facial recognition systems to identify people.
5. Message reactions (Signal, Telegram)
Message reactions are available on a few high-profile apps these days, including Discord and Slack. Signal and Telegram offer it on mobile IM platforms as well, but the principle is the same either way.
This feature allows you to quickly react to a message with an emoji, with the desired emoji then being attached to the message in question. This way, you don’t have to send a message containing the emoji as a whole new response in the chat. Add this function to the list of WhatsApp features we’d like to see in a future update!
6. Send without sound (Telegram)
Not every message requires a response straight away, as people might be busy with more pressing matters. It’s for that reason that I’m glad Telegram has a “send without sound” feature. Simply hold down on the “send” button and choose this option to send a message that won’t buzz your contact’s phone.
We’d like to see more messaging apps adopt this feature (WhatsApp included), as it could help recipients cope with incoming messages without resorting to muting contacts or their phones.
7. Scheduled messages (Telegram)
This is probably one of the most requested features in WhatsApp, but it’s been available in Telegram for over a year now. It allows you to pick a date and time for a message to be delivered.
Unfortunately, message scheduling on WhatsApp requires third-party apps right now. We’d love to see native functionality though, as it could be handy for birthday wishes, reminders you need to send to people, and more.
8. Camera verification (Kik)
The long-running Kik messenger app has a pretty neat idea with its camera verification feature. This adds a “camera” tag to pictures that were taken via the app’s camera, as opposed to older images added as attachments from your gallery.
We have seen third-party hacks to try and circumvent these tags, and we’d generally recommend people take pictures with their phone camera app instead for the best results. However, a solid implementation in WhatsApp could be another good way to fight misinformation and hoaxes in general.
That’s it for our list of rival messaging app features that should come to WhatsApp. Are there any features you’d like to see in the app? Let us know in the comments!