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Tuesday, July 2, 2024

WhatsApp just made event planning so much easier

Meta-owned WhatsApp, the world's leading messaging platform with over two billion users, is once again expanding its functionality.

Meta-owned WhatsApp, the world’s leading messaging platform with over two billion users, is once again expanding its functionality. The latest addition, the Events feature, aims to streamline organizing meetings, gatherings, and other events within group chats. Initially available for Communities, the feature is now rolling out to regular group chats, making it easier than ever to plan and coordinate activities directly within the app.

Rolling Out to Beta Users

In May, WhatsApp unveiled the Events feature for its new Communities function, promising to extend it to regular groups “in the coming months.” While the official launch date remains undisclosed, some Android users in the WhatsApp beta program (version 2.24.14.9) can already create Events in their chats. According to WABetaInfo, a reliable source for WhatsApp updates, the feature is also available in the WhatsApp beta for iOS (version 24.13.72), working identically on both platforms.

Read More: WhatsApp to discontinue support for older mobile devices

How the Events Feature Works

The Events feature introduces a new “Event” button under the paperclip icon for attachments in group chats. This allows users to create event invitations for various activities like movie nights or book clubs. Event creators can enter details such as the event name, description, date, location, and options for voice or video calls. Once an event is created, all group members can view the invitation and choose to join. Only the event creator has the ability to modify event details later on.

Events are protected with the same end-to-end encryption as regular WhatsApp messages, ensuring that only participants in the conversation have access to event details. This added layer of privacy is consistent with WhatsApp’s commitment to secure messaging.

User Experience and Future Enhancements

This feature simplifies the process of organizing events, eliminating the need for third-party apps. Group members will be notified of upcoming events, which will also be listed in each group’s information page. As the feature continues to evolve, WhatsApp plans to introduce additional functionalities, such as event reminders and the ability to set cover photos for events.

Broader Implications and Integration with Meta AI

The introduction of the Events feature is part of WhatsApp’s broader strategy to enhance user experience. In parallel, Meta has started rolling out its Meta AI assistant across WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. This AI assistant provides real-time search results from Microsoft and Google, aiding users in planning trips or finding the least crowded routes to destinations. Meta AI can be invoked in group chats for instant insights, making the planning process even more efficient.

Read More: WhatsApp to introduce default High-Definition photo sharing feature

WhatsApp is continually working on improving its platform. In addition to the Events feature, users can expect a redesigned preview page for status updates, a new shortcut for instant replies to video messages, enhanced animated stickers, and the ability to choose different Llama models for Meta AI. These updates reflect WhatsApp’s ongoing efforts to stay ahead in the competitive messaging app market.