Categories: NewsTechnology
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2023-12-02 8:24 AM

WhatsApp Unveils Game-Changing Features for South African Users

  • WhatsApp's ongoing updates and upcoming features cater to South African users, enhancing their messaging experience with innovations like email account verification, chat lock, and a username feature.
  • The platform's popularity in South Africa continues to soar, with a significant user base growth from 21 million to 23 million in just two years, expecting to reach 26 million by 2026.
  • Beta testing ensures the smooth integration of these new features, offering improved convenience, privacy, and connectivity for users while maintaining the platform's reliability.
By Miriam Matoma


Meta-owned WhatsApp continues its updates, gearing up with innovative features for South African users.

In South Africa, WhatsApp reigns as the top messaging platform due to its free service and regular updates. Its recent addition of Channels further solidifies its popularity.

Over the past two years, the platform’s user base has seen a significant rise from 21 million to 23 million. Projections hint at a potential surge to 26 million users by 2026. Remarkably, 93.3% of social media users in the country leverage WhatsApp.

Prior to public releases, WhatsApp tests new updates with beta testers to resolve potential glitches that might impact the app’s performance.

WABetaInfo, a data service, meticulously reports on upcoming WhatsApp features, setting the stage for what’s to come.

Exciting features in the pipeline for users include:

  1. Email Account Verification: The latest iOS update enables users to link their email addresses to their WhatsApp accounts. This feature allows access through email, benefiting those unable to receive SMS verification or a call from WhatsApp.

Particularly useful for individuals who’ve lost their phones without performing a SIM swap.

Despite this, creating and using a WhatsApp account still mandates a linked phone number. However, logging in with a phone number remains an option. The rollout will occur gradually over the next few weeks with the latest iOS app version.

  1. Chat Lock: WhatsApp introduces an efficient shortcut enabling users to lock chats directly from the chat list. This new feature streamlines the chat-locking process by integrating a dedicated toggle within the chat info screen.

Select beta testers now have access to this shortcut from the chat list, enhancing convenience. Previously, users had to navigate a separate section within chat info for chat locks. This new update simplifies the process.

Expected rollout: over the next few weeks with the updated iOS app version.

  1. Username Feature: WhatsApp’s future update will include a username feature, enabling users to choose a distinct identifier. This feature aims to lessen reliance on phone numbers during interactions.

The search bar will facilitate finding others via usernames, improving connectivity without sharing personal phone numbers. This offers enhanced privacy, ensuring users can connect without disclosing their digits.

WABetaInfo emphasizes the heightened privacy this feature will bring, as users can connect without revealing their phone numbers.

In conclusion, WhatsApp’s commitment to innovation benefits South African users, ensuring an improved and more secure messaging experience. As these features roll out, users can anticipate a more personalized and secure way of communication.

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Miriam Matoma

Miriam is a freelance writer, she covers economics and government news for Rateweb. You can contact her on: Email: miriam@rateweb.co.za Twitter: @MatomaMiriam

Tags: WhatsApp