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WhatsApp goes big on new features with COVID-safe way to add contacts

WhatsApp has officially launched new QR codes, which will make it easier to add contacts or share contact details in a touch-free manner.

The feature, which emerged within beta versions of the app in late May, was confirmed in a YouTube video and blog from the Facebook-owned messaging app on July 1.

In much the same way that WhatsApp users can scan a QR code to log-in to WhatsApp desktop, they can now scan a code from another person’s phone to reveal and add their contact details. It could prove an excellent way for people to exchange contact details at a time when simply passing your phone to another person to punch in their number seems like a health risk.

In an accompanying blog post, the company wrote: “We are making it easier than ever to add a new contact. Soon when you meet someone new, you will be able to scan their QR code to add them to your contacts. No more tapping in their digits one at a time.”

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However, that’s not the only new feature the firm is advertising today. The aforementioned WhatsApp desktop gets a dark mode feature, for starters.

Elsewhere, it’s possible to enlarge the thumbnail of a single participant in a group video chat, which were recently expanded to accommodate up to eight people. So, if one person is storytelling while the others listen intently, you enable them to take centre stage just by tapping the thumbnail.

Finally, the chats now offer the ability to include animated stickers, so you can tell someone to hurry up, and they can let you know they’re on their way, with playful gif-like stickers.

The firm added: “Stickers are one of the fastest growing ways people communicate on WhatsApp, with billions sent every day. We are rolling out new animated sticker packs that are even more fun and expressive.”

All features won’t be available to all users straight away, with WhatsApp promising a staged rollout for iOS and Android users in the coming days and weeks.