Ever since Facebook acquired WhatsApp, there has been an ongoing development in the popular instant messaging app where it is slowly beginning to resemble Facebook’s messenger. If this continues, then probably one fine day Mark Zuckerberg will create a hybrid that would have the best of both apps. It’s not just WhatsApp that is changing. Messenger is beginning to resemble WhatsApp in some ways. Both of them are taking features from each other. I wonder what the future would hold.
The tech world was set ablaze with this “new update” for WhatsApp after A WhatsApp beta tester named Ilhan Pektas tweeted “Like Button bei geteilten Bildern in WhatsApp 😮 #cool”. This line has been written in German. The translation reads, “Like Button for divided images in WhatsApp.” It is evident from the tweet that the “like” feature would be used for images. However, its integration in the app (for general conversation) is still unclear. A major hurdle would be to differentiate from the blue ticks that indicate delivery of a message. Moreover, the images sent in WhatsApp appear as general messages in the conversation. There is no separate album as such. The developers would have to come up with something really extraordinary.
Tweet by Ilhan Pektas claiming the inclusion of the “like” feature (Source: Twitter)
Since WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have the same owner now, it is quite possible that the “like” feature in WhatsApp would be similar to the thumbs up button on Facebook Messenger. The thumbs up button will give users the ability to send fast and concise replies to questions that can be replied with a simple gesture. For example, questions like “Are you feeling ok?” and “You will come for the party, right?” can be answered with a simple thumbs up gesture.
As far as the “Mark as read” feature is concerned, it was first disclosed by ADSLZone which obtained some WhatsApp documents which gave the faintest indication that the functionality was in the testing phase. At least the documents mention the possibility of tests being conducted for the features. According to the document, there were two forms, one for “Mark as Read”, and the other for “Mark as Unread”.
The interesting thing here is that the existence of read receipts in WhatsApp would definitely provide some major hurdles for the integration of the “Mark as Unread” feature. If the company is somehow able to integrate this feature, then how the read receipts would be managed? Would they still have an important role to play? These are just some of the concerns that would surface.
As a WhatsApp user, would you like to have a “mark as read / unread” feature? Do you think this is a valuable addition? What are your thoughts on the possible “Like” button? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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