WhatsApp gains image and GIF previews in notifications, suspicious links feature & more

WhatsApp Notifications now support media previews

Facebook-owned WhatsApp is rolling out its notification extension support, as well as other improvements including Wallet support, a suspicious link feature and more.

Previewing notifications

“When receiving photos or GIFs, you can 3D Touch or swipe left on the notification and tap View to preview the media from within the notification,” according to release notes.

Rich notification support requires iOS 10 and newer.

If you’re a fan of WhatsApp’s Status feature, you can now search on the Status tab to quickly find status updates. While the changelog mentions no other improvements, WABetaInfo has managed to discover several other noteworthy changes in the app.

Protecting your from suspicious links

One of them is the ability to automatically recognize suspicious links shared in your chats. Upon receipt of a message that contains a link, the app analyzes it locally to determine if it contains unusual characters in an attempt to appear as another website.

The new suspicious links feature ensures you're visiting a legitimate website

Here is an example of a suspicious link:


The first character looks like the letter “w“ but is instead the character “ẉ”, which means a spammer may have tricked you into visiting a website that wasn’t actually related to WhatsApp.

As explained in a WhatsApp FAQ, spammers may use unusual character combinations to trick you into tapping on links that appear to go to a legitimate website, but actually take you to a malicious site. If a link you received is marked suspicious, tapping it will highlight any unusual characters within the link and offer you options to open the link or go back to the chat.

“WhatsApp automatically performs checks to determine if a link is suspicious,” the company clarifies. “To protect your privacy, these checks take place entirely on your device. And because of end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp cannot see the content of your messages.”

Rolling out as we speak

These new features began rolling out to customers today, but know that WhatsApp isn’t bringing them to all users at once. If you don’t see the suspicious link feature or rich notification previews after updating to WhatsApp 2.18.90, check back in a few days.

WhatsApp is available at no charge on App Store.