MICROSOFT Teams just got some new features that could help it rival WhatsApp.
The deadline for WhatsApp’s controversial policy change has now passed and it seems Teams is stepping up to be an alternative option for disgruntled users.
Microsoft Teams is well known for being a workplace collaboration platform.
However, it’s just become suitable for personal use as well.
Microsoft revealed the new features in a recent blogpost.
It said: “We’re announcing the general availability of personal features in Teams to people around the world on desktop, mobile, and web.
Teams could rival WhatsApp[/caption]
“From online calls that will make you feel like you’re in the same place as your loved ones to group chats that will make coordinating plans with your loved ones a breeze, these personal features in Teams are designed to bring you closer to the people you care about so that you can call, chat, plan, and organize things big and small—together in one place.”
You can download the Microsoft Teams app on Android and iOS or just use it on your desktop.
It will also allow you to make video calls, just like WhatsApp.
If you have the app but a friend doesn’t, Teams will still let you communicate with them via SMS.
You also don’t need a Teams account to join a video call over the web.
Teams is great for organised members of your friendship group as you’ll be able to add events to your calendar and share invites without leaving a chat.
Teams is currently offering free video calls for up to 300 participants for as many as 24 hours.
Eventually, this will be reduced to a maximum of 100 participants on a free one hour call.
One on one video calls will still be free for up to 24 hours.
You’ll also be able to change your video call view so it looks like you’re meeting your friends in a nice cafe.
WhatsApp – a quick history
Here’s what you need to know…
- WhatsApp was created in 2009 by computer programmers Brian Acton and Jan Koum – former employees of Yahoo
- It’s one of the most popular messaging services in the world
- Koum came up with the name WhatsApp because it sounded like “what’s up”
- After a number of tweaks the app was released with a messaging component in June 2009, with 250,000 active users
- It was originally free but switched to a paid service to avoid growing too fast. Then in 2016, it became free again for all users
- Facebook bought WhatsApp Inc in February 2014 for $19.3billion (£14.64bn)
- The app is particularly popular because all messages are encrypted during transit, shutting out snoopers
- As of 2020, WhatsApp has over 2billion users globally
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In other news, Twitter is rumoured to be working on subscription service called Twitter Blue that would cost users $2.99 a month.
Instagram is making it easier for you to publicly display your pronouns on your profile.
And, Facebook is facing backlash in the US over plans to create a version of Instagram for children under 13.
What’s your favourite app to chat on? Let us know in the comments…
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