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WhatsApp messenger has more than 1 billion users. Given the number, this just indicates how popular this messaging app is. Released in 2009, this cross- platform, instant messaging app slowly but steadily made its way to the hearts of the people, from smartphone to desktop users.

Fast forward to 2016, user base had passed the 1 billion mark and continues to increase.  Since its initial release and after WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014 and in August of the same year, an update for its Android app was released.

Since August, there had been a few updates of WhatsApp on Android and iOS phones. One of the most recent is the latest beta version for Android phones. While this version does not really have new functionalities, users still need to have at least 31MB of storage space for downloading content.

WhatsApp 2.16.311 is now available for Android phones and mostly features improvements on performance and bug fixes. One of which is the appearance of bigger emojis when sent alone. This improvement, however, seems not to excite many WhatsApp beta users and was evident in the number of comments and messages that flooded the social media. One user found the large emojis “hideous” while another said that he did not want bigger emojis. According to some critics, these larger emojis seem to convey that they are too interested on the conversation.

Other performance upgrades include the capability of users to mention specific people in group chats via the use of the “@” symbol. Moreover, invitation for group chat members is now possible by sharing a link with the Add participants menu now having the “Invite to group via link” option.

Another interesting update is in terms of new camera features. With this version, videos and taken within the messaging app can now be more personalized since emojis, drawings and texts can now be added on video clips and photos. In addition, font styles can also be edited for captions. In a nutshell, it is similar to Snapchat. Just imagine being able to send customized photos and videos to family and friends a few seconds after capturing, with no need for photo/video editing software.

The developers of WhatsApp for Android have been very busy these past months to improve their services because on top of these enhancements, the camera feature now has a front-facing flash will come handy at night and low light situations. It also has a new zoom feature that is intended for recording videos as well as the capability to switch between cameras by simply tapping on the screen two times.

In the meantime, these performance upgrades and added functionalities are only available for Android users. WhatsApp 2.16.311 is only a beta update and users are reminded that this version might not work smoothly. Anyway, reverting back to the older version is always possible. Also, it is best to download only from trusted sources and for a more stable update, there is always Google Play Store to rely on.

For the latest WhatsApp update for iOS 10, you can read about it here.