WhatsApp for Android has gotten an update today that introduces new privacy settings, and interestingly enough — a feature that allows you to pay for a friend’s WhatsApp subscription.

First spotted by Android Police, the latest update lets you tweak your “last seen” status and profile photo, and increases the message history that you can send. It also gives you a camera shortcut for sending pictures faster, and now features large video thumbnails within a chat.

However, what’s most notable is that WhatsApp’s Android users can now pay for their friends’ subscriptions on the same mobile platform, as well as others including iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry. The chat app is free to download and use for the first 12 months, with a $0.99 in-app payment required each year after that. This could be WhatsApp’s way of encouraging users to promote the service to their friends — and keep them on the same platform.

Whatsapp Android 730x648 WhatsApp for Android gets new privacy settings and lets you pay for a friends subscription

WhatsApp is being bought by Facebook in a deal worth as much as $19 billion – and this probably means we can expect other new features as it seeks to stand out from the competition. To this extent, voice calling will be added to WhatsApp during Q2 2014.

➤ WhatsApp: Google Play