If you’re a WhatsApp user and you’ve recently updated your app, you will have noticed that video calling is now a part of the application. After bringing in a few other changes in UI on the iOS app, WhatsApp is now testing these and other changes for the Android app.
One of the changes you will see is separate buttons for voice and video calls. iOS has had this from the beginning, when WhatsApp introduced video calling, but WhatsApp Beta 2.17.93 now brings the same change to Android.
Another significant change is the attachment option, which has been brought down into the text bar next to the camera icon for taking and sharing photos. That means an easier way to attach a photo, document or video to your conversation in one-on-one and group chats.
Why are these UI changes significant?
One of the reasons that these subtle changes are important is because WhatsApp is still not monetized by Facebook. Though the company said it was exploring tools for businesses to interact with their customers and prospects via WhatsApp, no major monetization move has yet been announced.
The UI changes make it easier to send attachments to your contacts, which means WhatsApp has started focusing on certain usability components on the app. In time, it could potentially be tweaked to allow users to share details about a particular business with their contacts – a viable method of monetizing the platform.
The real significance of that hits you when you realize that smoother usability increases user engagement in terms of the average amount of time the user spends on the app every day. And greater engagement is exactly what a platform needs to be attractive to advertisers and businesses.
We don’t know how Facebook plans to monetize WhatsApp, but with the platform now being used by over 1.2 billion monthly active users, we could see some movement on that front fairly soon – especially now that they’re “cleaning up” the app and giving it a better user experience.
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