Whatsapp is one of the most used apps in the world today. The first thing people do once they buy a smartphone is download Whatsapp and use the app. Since it’s inception in January 2009, the app has sure undergone a lot of changes. Whatsapp which was initially an individual app is today owned by Facebook, after the social networking giant beat Google in the Whatsapp bid for a billion dollar deal. Since the app has moved base to Facebook headquarters, there have been a string of changes in the app. While some of the changes have been much appreciated, some have not been approved of. Whatsapp has grown by leaps and bounds in the past but perhaps, the app saw maximum changes in 2016 where it brought in  a host of new features and updates. Some where long pending and some surprising. But all definitely welcome.Also Read - WhatsApp Tips And Tricks: Guide On How To Use WhatsApp Web Without Using Your Smartphone | Checkout Video

The biggest change perhaps was the shift from a traditional messenger app to a video calling app. However, it only seemed logical for Whatsapp to take the step considering that the app has been stagnant for quite a long time and the interest over it was also fading. Whatsapp has completely revamped itself and the newer version is a one-stop app for all services. There are other changes planned to roll out in early 2017, but they are already in the Beta stage and so, we know they are coming for sure. With the new features, Whatsapp has definitely become a lot more interesting and fun and the app is now more convenient that ever. But then, there were a few changes announced this year that made people fight back till Facebook finally revoked them. But then, as is the case with most apps, changes some positive and some negative keep happening and all we can do is grin and bear it. Also Read - Big WhatsApp Update: WhatsApp Brings Custom Sticker Feature For Desktop Users, Here's How To Use It On Web Version | Watch Tutorial Video

1. Video Calling – This was perhaps the most interesting feature of 2016 and the app finally, after months and months of speculations, beta mode tests and excitement finally launched their video calling feature. The feature was rolled out slowly and in batches and everyone could soon access it. Right after rolling out video calling, Whatsapp also rolled out features to ensure that the calls were smooth even in low network areas. While initially there was only the voice calling feature, video calling over Whatsapp definitely made things easier and brought all the features under one roof. Although, some features like group calling aren’t possible, it is still a god way to stay connected over video calls and keep in touch. Video calling was a much demanded feature by Whatsapp users and although it arrived a bit late, it has definitely been one of the biggest and the most awaited upgrades of 2016. You will soon be able to undo sent messages on WhatsApp! Also Read - WhatsApp Gets Custom Sticker Maker Feature | Know How To Use

2. 2-step verification – Whatsapp has been trying its best to introduce more and more security features and just last month launched their 2-step verification process. The 2-step verification process will now be applied each time a Whatsapp user changes his or her SIM card or smartphone and needs to log into the account again. Whatsapp is now demanding a 6-digit numeric pin code for people logged out of their devices. In order to activate the 2-step verification, a user needs to go to settings and provide his email id (which will be used in case he forgets his code) and the verification setup is complete. The measure was taken by Whatsapp to protect user accounts from getting hacked and also, from someone trying to illegally register with some else’s mobile number. As the verification code is private and accessible only to the user, even if the phone is lost, only the user can reactivate Whatsapp on another device. Whatsapp message saying BSNL and Airtel are now giving free 4G like Reliance Jio is a scam – Beware!

3. Facebook sharing – Well, this was definitely not one of their better features. What people had dreaded since the day Facebook took over Whatsapp finally came to pass and Whatsapp announced it would now integrate with Facebook. This meant that all user data would now be shared between the 2 accounts. Needless to say, it freaked users out and made them feel as if their conversations were not private anymore. There were so many discussions and debates over the issue and so much written on it that Facebook finally rolled it back. Although they did not completely deactivate it, they did provide users with a way to turn off sharing in settings.

4. Image editing in Whatsapp – Whatsapp took another step towards Snapchat and announced theirphoto editing feature. Activated only in Whatapp camera, the feature lets users edit images and doodle in the camera photos, add text, etc. The text can also be coloured or in different fonts. he fun stickers and emojis made Whatsapp more of a fun and youthful app. Somewhere along the lines, Whatsapp had become jus another boring messenger app with nothing really new in terms of additions. This new feature is definitely aimed at the younger Whatsapp users, those who like to try out new features and prefer chatting over images and pictures, not only text.  However, the feature is only for images clicked using the Whatsapp camera and not the phone camera or if the image is shared from the gallery, the feature will not be applicable.  How to transfer all your Whatsapp chats from old phone to new phone

5. Front flash for selfies – Another feature exclusive to Whatsapp camera, Whatsapp pandered to the selfie craze when they announced a new front screen flash for selfies. Most smartphones come with a camera with LED flash on the back but then, there’s no flash on the front. This leads to dark selfies or poor selfies in low light. The new feature turns your smartphone display into a soft flash for selfie photos and the images are brighter and clearer. However, just like the image editing, the feature is for now restricted only to Whatsapp camera and will not work if you’re using your smartphone cam.

6. End to end encryption – This was perhaps another major change Whatsapp rolled out was end to end encryption meaning now, no one other than you and the receiver can see your messages. The encryption is for all messages, sent in groups or individually. While initially, it was only for the versions that are upgraded, now it has rolled out to all the users who updated their app. The feature gives added protection and once again protects messaging from getting hacked.

7. Whatsapp Free – Right at the start of the year, Whatsapp announced that it would now be completely free, permanently. While Android users had to pay a nominal fee of $1 at the end of 1 year of using Whatsapp (the limit sometimes got extended), for iOS users, they had to pay a price right at the beginning and post that, they could use Whatsapp for life. There are no subscription or download charges anymore for Whatsapp and the app is free in all regions. For both, Android and iOS users, the move was definitely a welcome one.

8. Recall sent messages – Although this feature is still in Beta mode, it is definitely the most exciting feature and one way to end the year on a high note. The feature will reportedly let users recall and edit messages that are erroneously sent. The users can also recall seen messages, that is messages with double blue tick marks. The feature is in testing phase and there’s no word on when it will come to the market. But we definitely can’t wait to see it!