Following the recent event that occurred last week during the F8 keynote annual conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg detailed all the new features coming to WhatsApp. Explaining that the social chatting app has now released an update for iOS users.
WhatsApp iOS update 2.18.51 apparently will bring the ability to watch Instagram and Facebook videos in-app. This means that now, along with YouTube videos, iPhone users can view Instagram and Facebook videos right within their WhatsApp chat as well.
Earlier, when users clicked on an Instagram or Facebook video link, it would open in their respective apps installed on smartphones. In its latest update, WhatsApp has mentioned in its changelog that in-app video playback will work for Instagram and Facebook. However, it isn’t working at the moment. But the update suggests the feature should not be too far away, and may be enabled in the next few weeks.
Here’s the full change log for WhatsApp update:
- When you receive a link to an Instagram or Facebook video, you can now play it right within WhatsApp. With picture-in-picture, you can also keep watching the video while you navigate to another chat.
- If you’re a group admin, you can now remove admin rights from other participants. Select the admin in “Group Info” and tap “Dismiss As Admin.”
- Group admins can now choose who can change a group’s subject, icon and description by going to “Group Info” and tapping “Group Settings.”
The update comes after WhatsApp co-founder, Jan Koum announced last week that he was leaving the company amid growing differences in data sharing with WhatsApp parent company Facebook. The changelog also says that the feature supports PiP (picture in picture mode) which means that you can still navigate through WhatsApp, chat with different people, and the video will continue to play in a video bubble on top of the app. You can move the video bubble all through the screen as well, and it comes with play/pause, close, and fullscreen buttons, just the same as YouTube’s PiP video bubble. The YouTube video playback integration was introduced in January this year for all iPhone users.
At the F8 event, Zuckerberg also announced that group video calling will be introduced soon, where up to four people can join the call at once and see each other in split-screen mode. The app will also get support for third-party stickers created by developers. Zuckerberg also used the opportunity to reveal that WhatsApp Status feature is being used by over 450 million people worldwide. WhatsApp for Business, the recently introduced service targeting business, already has 3 million users worldwide, the Facebook CEO said.
This is indeed a great news for WhatsApp users as they can now play Facebook or Instagram videos right in their conversations without ever being kicked over to another app.
The new feature is currently rolling out on iOS to some users with the new updated version, but it hasn’t come to Android yet.