WhatsApp has literary replaced SMS in Zimbabwe as the defacto messaging app. People here spend more time on WhatsApp than they do on other platforms. Thanks to WhatsApp bundles offered by all mobile network operators in Zimbabwe, WhatsApp is literary the internet for most people. It is therefore good news that WhatsApp will soon be introducing new features in their messaging app. The most notable feature will be usernames in group chats.

Groups are a big feature of the WhatsApp experience and the average user can expect to be in at least a dozen WhatsApp groups. The current WhatsApp group chat experience is not so bad but it can do with some tweaks. For example, have you ever noticed that when you are chatting with people in groups most of the messages only have a phone number and you have no way to tell who they are from? Like who the heck is +27604744190 and why are they trolling everyone? You can rejoice as that is about to change.

WhatsApp is planning to launch a new feature that would display usernames rather than phone numbers in group discussions. This function is intended to solve the issue of anonymous messages, which might be difficult to track down. Users will be able to readily identify who sent a specific message with usernames displayed in chat bubbles, even if they do not have the person’s phone number recorded in their contacts.

The username feature on WhatsApp is designed to improve the overall group chat experience by making it easier to keep track of who said what. This is especially handy for users who belong to many groups and don’t want to waste time browsing through their contacts to find the sender. The tool will also benefit group administrators, who will be able to immediately identify any inappropriate communications and take relevant action. Overall, the new username function is a great addition to the popular messaging app, and it is expected to improve the efficiency and enjoyment of group chats for its users.

While this is the most notable feature there are other features coming too including:

  • Expiring groups-this is where the person groups can set an expiry date for the group they are creating. This is useful for event-based groups.
  • WhatsApp Admins will now be able to approve or reject new members who join via a group link. This is useful especially if you have a publicly available link but still want the option to reject some well-known spammers
  • Soon you will be able to mute calls from numbers not in your known contacts list. Some people just like to make WhatsApp calls even when you say messages only, that should do the trick but still allow your family and friends to call you.
  • Windows WhatsApp users will soon be able to create a link that can allow people to join a call in the same way Zoom and similar. They will also be able to select multiple messages and perform actions such as deleting or forwarding.

WhatsApp is more than just a chat app in Zimbabwe. It is also the engine that powers informal traders and allows them to keep in touch with clients, find leads and market their wares. These new features will certainly aid that process and cement the chat app’s dominant position. Currently, there is no competition and these new features will just entrench WhatsApp’s position in the event that one crops up in the future.