WhatsApp rolled out some new features this week that keep the messaging app in the race with Snapchat and iMessage (iOS 10 version).

whats app new featuresUsers can now draw and doodle on photos and videos sent through WhatsApp. You can draw flowers and hearts or, if you’re anything like my friends, other not so PG-rated content. Let’s be honest here, this new feature is going to be used as crudely as possible.

In addition to drawing freehand you can also add emoji’s and text to your photo or video. As soon as you take a picture or capture a video or select one from your library you’ll see the newly added editing tools.

This is all part of an updated camera that includes other much-needed upgrades. The in-app camera will now allow you to use the flash when taking front-facing photos or as they’re rarely called “selfies.” These “selfies” are going to be the next hot thing. Just you wait and see.

They’ve also added a zooming feature while taking videos as well as the ability to double tap on the screen to switch between front and rear-facing cameras.

All these new features, especially the ability to draw and add to your photos and videos, are pretty much a must in any messaging app that wants to stand a chance against Snapchat. The youth-centric app just recently reached 150 million users a day.

Even Apple has gotten in on the animated messaging and photo game with iOS 10, though you can only draw on photos not videos. Dammit, get with it, Apple.

Now that isn’t to say that Facebook-owned WhatsApp is a lightweight. Back in February they stated that they had 1 billion people using WhatsApp every month. That’s nothing to sneeze at. I’m not sure what their daily figures look like but if you’ve got 1 billion unique people using your app every month, you’re probably going to be alright.

What do you think of the new WhatsApp features? Let us know in the comments below!


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.