Until concerns were raised about data sharing with Facebook to help deliver targeted ads, WhatsApp was seen as the messaging tool of choice for those concerned about privacy. As well as offering encrypted messaging, WhatsApp has always been one of the more stripped back messaging apps out there -- but no more.
Bowing to pressure to fit in with the crowd and offer the same features as the likes of SnapChat, WhatsApp is adding photo and video editing and enhancement tools. The ability to add emoji to photos, or draw and write on images are just two new options that are rolling out now.
The latest changes and additions really do see WhatsApp gearing itself up for the mainstream, giving users what they have come to expect from other messaging tools rather than remaining true to its stripped-down roots. Editing tools are available whether you are working with a photo or video you have already on your phone, or one you are taking right now. Familiar emoji can be dropped onto images to "express yourself", while the ability to add and customize text allows for further personalization.
But the new features don’t end there. WhatsApp also says:
The WhatsApp camera feature now supports the front-facing flash so you can take the perfect selfie. In low light and at night, this will brighten up your screen and improve the quality of your photo. We've also added a convenient zooming feature for recording videos -- just slide your finger up and down to zoom in and out. And to quickly switch between front and rear facing cameras, double tap on the screen.
The new features are making their way to Android users first, starting right now, and iPhone users can expect to see them "soon".