WhatsApp for iOS just added filters and albums for photos and videos

When it comes to straightforward messaging, WhatsApp is hard to beat. But as more services embrace the camera –  like Facebook Messenger and, most recently, Skype –  WhatsApp risks being left behind.

Well, WhatsApp (which is owned by Facebook) has apparently been paying attention as today it's introducing two new photo-focused features – and one not – that bring its visuals a little closer to what's on tap with other platforms. 

First up for the billion-plus-users chat service is color filters. Users can now edit a photo, video or GIF post-capture with a filter. There are currently five to choose from: pop, black and white, cool, chrome, and film. 

To add a filter, simply swipe up on an image or clip after you've taken it and make your pick.

Next up is albums. Now, whenever you receive four or more photos or videos from someone, the images will automatically be bundled into a scrollable or swipeable album.

Hopping off the photo train, WhatsApp for iOS is also introducing reply shortcuts. This feature lets you swipe right on any message to reply to it. 

As noted by TechCrunch, this is great if you're in a group conversation and a participant asks a question that quickly zips by. You can go back and reply directly to their query before it's lost in the shuffle.

As to whether these latest features are headed to Android, WhatsApp told TechCrunch it would like to bring them to Google's mobile platform, but doesn't have a timeline for when that will happen.

You can update to the latest version of WhatsApp for iOS right now.