India 2020 : WhatsApp is reportedly gearing up to add yet another major feature to its application. The new feature, as reported by WABetaInfo, will add a new search option in chat windows, wherein users will be able to search for messages by date. The search by date option is said to be in the earliest, alpha stages of development, so it is likely that it will not come to your devices any time soon. However, as and when it does, it can be a big improvement particularly for those who regularly use WhatsApp at their workplaces. As of now, the initial report suggests that the search by date feature is being worked on for WhatsApp for iOS. However, WhatsApp is known for maintaining parity between its Android and iOS apps, so when it releases, it will likely be for both versions of the messaging app.
WhatsApp already allows users to search for messages either within a single chat window, or across their entire chat history. In WABetaInfo’s report, the feature is seen to be added for searches within a chat window, which can help users find messages sent from a particular date. This can be important in tracing work histories, or message backlogs from particular dates, should the need arise for it. As of now, the only way to look up for messages sent or received years ago is by manually scrolling up, which can be a tedious task given how much most people make use of WhatsApp.
Interestingly, by adding a search by date feature, WhatsApp will also gear up its app to compete with many other applications that specifically target workplace or enterprise communication. WhatsApp already offers end to end encryption on its messaging platform, which enhances its security quotient that many leverage everyday. By adding a date search feature, it can allow users to chronicle previous files or messages, which can be a very important part of workplace communication. However, given that workplace messaging also has to make way for administrative or IT oversight, it is likely that WhatsApp’s adoption in formal office usage may still remain limited.
As mentioned before, WhatsApp’s search by date feature is still only at the alpha stage of development. As a result, it is likely that it won’t be rolled out in the immediate future. WhatsApp’s big feature addition of 2020 is expected to be support for a single account running on multiple devices, which is expected to diversify WhatsApp’s appeal for specific use cases. With search by date now also on the cards, it remains to be seen which features does the WhatsApp development team treat as priority, and which fall on the back burner.