With over 2 billion active monthly users, WhatsApp is a wildly popular messaging platform. Users love it for its simple, intuitive interface, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s free. But as functional as WhatsApp is, it still lacks a few features that could really improve the overall user experience.
On WhatsApp, literally anyone can send you a message as long as they have your phone number. This means that users are completely vulnerable to spam accounts and harassers.
If users could block communications from unknown accounts, they’d have more privacy. Even better, messages from unsaved phone numbers could show up as “message requests” which users can accept or reject.
This feature is currently available on Instagram, and it would be a fantastic addition to WhatsApp.
2. Message Scheduling
Message scheduling allows users to schedule messages to be sent at a specific date or time, even if they are not online.
Say you need to remind a friend to do something at 7 am the next day, but you’re not exactly a morning person. You could type the message, schedule it to be sent out at that time, and rest assured that your friend would get the reminder while you enjoy your sack time.
Busy users could use this feature to schedule birthday and anniversary messages to be sent at the appropriate times.
Of course, there are already third-party message scheduling apps, but having this in-built would be much more convenient.
3. Note-to-Self Feature
For now, users have no space on WhatsApp to create notes, make lists, save links, and more. Rival apps, particularly Signal, have this nifty feature that allows you to create notes and bookmark them. The notes are then synced across your linked devices, making them easily available.
This feature on Telegram goes even further and allows users to save media files, creating a form of a personal archive. This is a feature that productivity-oriented users would definitely appreciate.
4. Invisible Mode
No matter how many visibility settings you choose, WhatsApp still shows your online status to your contacts. And there’s no way to turn it off.
This is particularly annoying if you are trying to avoid someone you don’t want to block. If you could hide your online status from others, you could open the app and possibly avoid unwanted conversations
Currently, users cannot divide their contacts into different categories on WhatsApp. Instead, your contacts are ranked based on your most recent conversations.
This feature would allow users to organize different numbers in different categories, such as family, colleagues, and friends. Once people have been grouped, you could share appropriate content with them: work content for colleagues and family photos for family numbers.
This feature seems insignificant, but it would go a long way towards helping users to create mental compartments and achieve work-life balance.
6. Individual Chat Lock
Currently, users can lock their WhatsApp with a password or biometric ID. But it’s not exactly a fail-proof privacy solution because once your app is unlocked, anyone could still access all the chats on your WhatsApp.
A more secure fix would be to allow users lock individual chats or have the option of an additional biometric or pin lock for specific chats. That way, those private chats are protected even if a third-party gets access to your WhatsApp.
This feature would especially be useful on shared WhatsApp Business accounts with multiple handlers.
7. Dual Account Support
Most smartphones support two SIMS, but WhatsApp only allows one account per device. Of course, this is because users register on the platform with their phone numbers.
But, it’s inconvenient for those who have separate lines for different purposes—which many people do. For example, some people have personal and work lines, and want to use different WhatsApp accounts on each to separate personal life from work.
If there was dual account support, it would be easier to switch between accounts on the same app, just as is possible on Instagram. Again, this would be a tricky one to implement because of WhatsApp’s sign-up structure, but it’s still okay to dream.
8. Remove “This Message Was Deleted” Alert
It’s already embarrassing to send a message you shouldn’t have. WhatsApp allows you to undo your mistake by deleting said message, but then they alert the recipient that you’ve deleted a message.
It’s such a self-defeating feature, and many users would be glad to simply “unsend” a message without the recipient having knowledge of it.
The ideal fix would allow users to remove messages without informing the recipient, although this might only work for messages that have been delivered but not yet seen by the recipient.
9. Liking Status Updates
Apart from views, likes are great feedback that users could get on their WhatsApp status updates. Although WhatsApp is great because it removes the pressure of the numbers, some status updates are just so good they deserve a like.
User could just tap on a heart icon below the status update to like it, just as is possible on Instagram.
10. Add Music to Status Updates
Currently, users cannot add music to status updates unless they first add it in a third-party app. This feature is an unlikely WhatsApp addition because the platform is more messaging-focused, but it’d be cool to be able to add music tracks over media that you post on your status.
A Better WhatsApp Experience
WhatsApp’s user base spans a wide range of demographics, including age, education, tech-savviness, and economic divides.
This diversity means Meta, its parent company, must strike a fine balance when deciding which new features to add to WhatsApp. They should be simple, functional, and compatible with different devices, and this is not a simple task.
Certain countries also have different technical rules governing what is permissible, which adds to the already complex task. But these hurdles shouldn’t discourage the company from introducing more features to improve the user experience on WhatsApp.