WhatsApp, South Africa's most popular messaging service, receives a comprehensive list of changes – including adjusting to its official name.
Bloomberg reported that Facebook – the owner of WhatsApp – will change the official name of the message service from "WhatsApp" to "WhatsApp from Facebook."
The same will happen with Instagram, which will now be called "Facebook's Instagram."
This move is not without its controversy. This is because the founders of both of these programs are no longer participating in these applications, and Facebook has purchased both of these platforms as they have become popular.
Some would argue that saying that these programs are "from Facebook" therefore misrepresents the origins of the respective services.
When asked why the company made this change, a spokesman said: "We want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook."
There are many other changes underway for WhatsApp users, most of them aimed at improving the user experience.
Advertisements and business catalogs
Facebook has announced that it will be start making ads on the WhatsApp status page from the beginning of 2020.
These status ads will be used to increase the money that Facebook can make with the messaging app, and are expected to work in a similar way to the ads found on Instagram Stories.
Facebook too plans integrate a business catalog feature into WhatsApp to allow users to browse products.
This feature will be available in chats between clients and registered companies on WhatsApp and is being worked on as part of an overall redesign for the platform.
Facebook has announced the launch of its Caliber cryptocurrency wallet, which will be available on WhatsApp as well as on Messenger and as a standalone app, in 2020.
"The first product Calibra will introduce is a digital wallet for Libra, a new global currency powered by blockchain technology," Facebook said.
"From the beginning, Calibra will let you send a Bookstore to just about anyone with a smartphone, as easy and fast as you possibly can send a text message and free of charge."
"We are looking forward to offering additional services to people and companies, such as paying bills at the push of a button, buying a cup of coffee with the scanning code or riding your local public transport without having to take the money or subway."
Facebook said Caliber will offer strong security measures to ensure financial users are protected, and dedicated live support will also be available.
WABetaInfo reported that WhatsApp is working on a system that will allow users to access one WhatsApp account across multiple devices at once.
This will allow users to use their WhatsApp accounts on iOS and Android devices simultaneously, as well as via an upcoming standalone WhatsApp app for a desktop that will not require your phone to be connected to the internet (as with WhatsApp Website).
The multi-device support system is reportedly still under development, and launch date is not calculated.
"Note that this is also the reason why WhatsApp for iPad has not yet been released, although it is ready," WABetaInfo stated.
Facebook and QR code integration
Facebook is working in a feature that will let WhatsApp users share their status updates to their Facebook profiles – as well as Instagram posts.
Users who have the Facebook app on their devices and who post status updates on WhatsApp will be shown an "Add to Facebook Story" option.
This feature will not automatically post your status to Facebook, and requires manual authorization.
WhatsApp users will also report being able to share contact details with other users via in-app QR codes.
These features are currently in development for the Android and iOS versions of WhatsApp.
WABetaInfo reported that WhatsApp plans to enable resource editing at some point in its next few updates.
This will allow users to edit resources they have already sent or received from within the WhatsApp app.
To do this, users will need to select an "edit" option when they have opened a media chat that will redirect the user to the image display screen.
The edited image will not replace the original version, but will instead create a duplicate.
The feature will be available on both Android and iOS.
Lately it has enabled a feature that enables Android phone readers to respond to WhatsApp messages via voice commands.
This is done by saying "read my messages" to the Google Assistant.
This is in line with recent trends in agile assistants as a common means of consuming content and completing digital tasks.
Now read: Facebook to put their name on WhatsApp