While we were still debating the availability of native GIF support in Whatsapp, the company has dropped yet another beta with a couple of new features. One of these features is actually extremely useful in almost every scenario, while the other is just a small addition to ease ‘media’ sharing on the platform.
In the latest beta build #2.16.281, WhatsApp has finally introduced the long-rumored public group links that’ll allow you to invite anyone to join your group conversation. This can be very helpful if you’re looking to organize a group chat to discuss the plans for an event, but do not have the contant number of every individual. It will have immense usability for business organizations, who can directly mail out the public group chat link to discuss specific internal matters with a closed group.
So now, how do you create a group link and share it with the world? It’s easier than you think.
If you’re the admin of a WhatsApp group, then you’ll need to navigate to the ‘Group Info’ page and click to add a new particpant to your conversation. On this screen(first one in the screenshot), you’ll now notice a new ‘Invite to group via link’ option at the top of the contacts list.
When you’ll tap on it, you’ll be taken to the ‘middle’ screen shown in the screenshot above. Now, this is the main screen which not only holds the unique link to your group chat, but also provides you with multiple sharing options. You can also share the link on WhatsApp itself(unnecessary!?), but useful again if you want to send the link across to a friend of a friend.
And as you can also see in the screenshot above, the company warns you saying that anyone with the public link can join your conversation and group. But if some unknown individual joins your group, you can always kick out the intruder and take action –revoke link — to avoid a similar mishap in the future. Once the old public link is revoked, a new link is generated for circulation. There’s another useful sharing option which allows you to send across a PDF or screenshot of a QR code with the link to the group chat.
As you can see in the screenshot attached above, WhatsApp has added a nifty little forward button next to media attachements in chats. This curved arrow next to media, such as images, videos, and links makes it super easy to send them to across to another conversation — it transfers you directly to the forward screen. You no longer need to long press on a media message to open options and tap the forward icon to send it to others.
Grab the latest WhatsApp beta from the Play Store to get a taste of new features before the general masses. And if you aren’t a part of the beta group, click here to join and enjoy official (almost daily!?) updates.