The main WhatsApp news in March addresses attempts to hit the messenger involving the Covid-19 pandemic and how to identify lying chains. One of the frauds takes advantage of the repercussions of the Bill that provides emergency assistance of R $ 600 to informal low-income workers – a true fact – to disseminate a malicious link that promises victims a “R $ 200 coronavoucher”.
The arrival of Dark Mode for Android and iPhone (iOS), at the beginning of the month, was also highlighted among readers. The games to play in a group or with a single friend also pumped, much of it to overcome the boredom of quarantine, which is recommended by health experts to minimize the spread of the new coronavirus. Below are the most popular WhatsApp stories in March.
1. Coronavirus scams
Before March came to an end, at least 19 scams spread on WhatsApp using the coronavirus had already reached 2 million people, according to PSafe experts. The digital security lab discovered six malicious applications used in these endeavors, which have in common the promise of some benefit, used as bait to direct the user to an unsafe link.
In addition to the fake “Citizen Aid 2020” program, scammers used the names of large companies to attract victims. One of the great examples was the scam that used Netflix promising a free subscription during the period of social isolation. This malicious URL alone received more than 1 million hits and shares.
The amount of fake news about the new virus was also large. A survey carried out by PSafe’s dfndr lab found that approximately 42.5 million Brazilians received or accessed fake news about Covid-19, which was broadcast mainly on WhatsApp. To contain the problem, the messenger even launched an exclusive official portal on the coronavirus.
2. Dark Mode
Following the trend of several apps, WhatsApp adopted Dark Mode on Android and iOS. The new look with black screen has been released for all users and can be activated in the application settings.
The main objective of dark mode is to reduce the emission of blue light, which disrupts sleep, increasing the comfort to look at the screen at night or in poorly lit places. Another advantage is that the dark color scheme reduces battery consumption, especially on devices with an OLED display.
3. Prank for WhatsApp
The third most read of March was the article gathering five games to play with friends on WhatsApp during the quarantine. The list includes famous games: Uno, Tic-Tac-Toe, Hangman, Sleeping City and Detective, all with gameplay adapted to the Facebook messenger.
4. Advanced search filters
Another novelty introduced by the app was the advanced search with filters. With the new feature, the search bar now displays options for photos, GIFs, videos, documents, links and audios, which can be selected to reduce the number of files returned in the search. The functionality has only arrived for users of the Apple system and, so far, is not yet available on Android.
5. Most downloaded apps for February
The news that WhatsApp was the second most downloaded app in the world in February – behind TikTok only – was the fifth most read about the messaging app. The platform had 96 million downloads between Google Play Store and the App Store, up 42.4% over the same period last year.
The data comes from the consultancy Sensor Tower, which computed 113 million installations on TikTok. Brazil was responsible for 8.6% of that number, being the second country that most downloaded the social network in February. Facebook, Instagram and Messenger completed the top 5 most installed applications in the period.
6. Text corrector
A tutorial on how to put text corrector on WhatsApp received a lot of attention from TechTudo readers. The tip, which applies to iOS and Android, takes advantage of native tools from the configurations of the two systems, eliminating the need to install other apps.
7. Coronavirus stickers
The Ministry of Health and WhatsApp have teamed up to launch a package of stickers on the coronavirus. Educational in nature, the stickers provide information on how to prevent the spread of the Sars-Cov-2 virus, which causes Covid-19 disease.
The installation must be done through the Sticker.ly app, available for Android and iOS. The sticker pack page (sticker.ly/s/6RWR1J) gathers drawings with messages such as “avoid sharing objects”, “disinfect frequently used objects” and “cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing”.
8. WhatsApp with password
Password protection of messenger conversations has also been a hot topic in the past month. The tutorial focused on WhatsApp Web taught how to perform the procedure using the WA Web Plus extension, available for free for Google Chrome. In addition to adding the security layer, the plugin can hide photos from contacts and see deleted messages, among other useful features in the PC version of the messenger.