WhatsApp is working on a HUGE update that will let you message users without having their phone number
- The Meta-owned app is developing the ability to set up a WhatsApp username
- This could allow you to message others, without having their phone number
It’s the go-to messaging app for millions of people around the world, and now it seems WhatsApp is working on a huge update.
The Meta-owned app is developing the ability to set up a WhatsApp username, according to leaker site, WABetaInfo.
This could allow users to message others, without having access to their phone number.
‘WhatsApp users will have the opportunity to add another layer of privacy to their accounts,’ WABetaInfo wrote in a blog.
‘Instead of relying solely on phone numbers to identify contacts, users will be able to opt for a unique and memorable username.’
It’s the go-to messaging app for millions of people around the world, and now it seems WhatsApp is working on a huge new update
The Meta-owned app is developing the ability to set up a WhatsApp username, according to leaker site, WABetaInfo
READ MORE: WhatsApp now lets you EDIT your messages – but there’s a huge catch
WhatsApp has launched an edit button for the moments when you make a mistake, or simply change your mind
WABetaInfo spotted the new feature in the latest WhatsApp beta for Android 18.104.22.168.
‘Although this feature is currently in development and not yet visible, we have a sneak peek to share,’ it said, alongside a screenshot of the feature.
The screenshot shows a new option to add a unique username on the Profile page within the app’s settings.
However, further details on how the feature will work remain unclear.
‘Since this feature is still in development, it is too early to understand how usernames work on WhatsApp,’ WABetaInfo explained.
‘They may allow users to communicate with businesses privately, thus safeguarding their phone numbers, or perhaps their usage will be even more extensive, allowing private communication with any user.
‘Only time will provide us with further answers, but we are confident that they will revolutionize the way we communicate on WhatsApp in the future.’
While WhatsApp is yet to confirm the news, several excited users have already taken to Twitter to express their delight at the rumours.
While WhatsApp is yet to confirm the news, several excited users have already taken to Twitter to express their delight at the rumours
‘Finally!!! It was time to read something like this and therefore the phone number can be hidden, honestly this is great!!!’ one user wrote.
‘It’s great to avoid having to disclose phone numbers to communicate with strangers!’ another added.
And one joked: ‘The fight for claiming username on WhatsApp is about to begin!’
The news comes shortly after WhatsApp launched an Edit button that allows you to amend messages up to 15 minutes after sending them.
WhatsApp announced the new tool in a blog post this afternoon.
‘From correcting a simple misspelling to adding extra context to a message, we’re excited to bring you more control over your chats,’ it said.
To use the new tool, simply long-press on a sent message and choose ‘Edit’ from the menu.
Edited messages will display ‘edited’ alongside them, so your friends will be aware of the correction, although they won’t be able to see the edit history.
‘As with all personal messages, media and calls, your messages and the edits you make are protected by end-to-end encryption,’ WhatsApp added.
BEST WHATSAPP ALTERNATIVES
If you’re considering deleting WhatsApp, you’ll be happy to hear that there are several alternative apps to choose from:
With more than 400 million users, Telegram is one of the most popular WhatsApp alternatives.
While it looks very similar to WhatsApp, what sets it apart is the fact that it gives the option to set messages to self-destruct after a given period of time, leaving no trace.
Telegram also offers end-to-end encryption.
However, as a WhatsApp spokesperson pointed out, Telegram ‘does not offer end-to-end encryption by default so it’s not necessarily more secure than WhatsApp’.
Signal is one of the most secure messaging apps, thanks to the fact that it is open-source.
This means that the code for the app is publicly available to view, making it near-impossible for the app’s creators to sneak in any backdoors that could allow governments or hackers to spy on your messages.
If you use an iPhone, you may consider simply switching to iMessage, Apple’s own messaging app.
The app has a number of impressive features included no character limits, the ability to send pictures and videos, and of course Apple’s animated emoji feature, Animoji.
Unfortunately, iMessage is only available for iPhone users, so you’ll struggle to interact with anyone using an Android.
4. Google Messages
Google’s answer to iMessage is Google Messages, an Android-only messaging service.
The app replaces your standard SMS app, and integrates with all of Google’s apps and services, making it easy to share images or use Google Assistant.
5. Facebook Messenger
If you were put off using WhatsApp due to its sharing of data with Facebook, Facebook Messenger may not be the best option for you.
However, the app offers a number of helpful features, including games, secret conversations and video calls.
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