In an effort to reinforce person privateness and enhance the general expertise, WhatsApp, the favored messaging platform owned by Meta, is reportedly engaged on introducing usernames as an alternative choice to cellphone numbers. This characteristic, current within the beta model 184.108.40.206 replace for Android, will allow customers to set distinctive usernames for his or her accounts, consequently offering an choice to establish contacts with out the necessity to share cellphone numbers.
WhatsApp has historically relied on cellphone numbers as the first identification for accounts, which means that in particular person or group chats, all individuals can view one another’s cellphone numbers. the brand new characteristic would enable customers to cover their cellphone numbers, particularly from those that aren’t of their contact e book.
The username characteristic was first reported by WABetaInfo and later confirmed by TechCrunch, which discovered references to the username discipline within the code of the most recent Android app2. The username part can be displayed on the Profile web page in Settings2. It isn’t but clear how customers will have the ability to select a username, given the present person base of two billion folks. Meta has but to touch upon the event or share additional particulars in regards to the characteristic.
WhatsApp’s transfer could place it in direct competitors with different messaging apps resembling Telegram, which already permits customers to show their usernames as a substitute of cellphone numbers. Telegram has additionally launched auctions for premium usernames, primarily based on the TON blockchain. Subsequently, will probably be fascinating to see how WhatsApp handles potential claims for premium usernames and the way it plans to guard them.
Alongside the username characteristic, WhatsApp can be redesigning its settings web page. The most recent Android beta updates, variations 220.127.116.11 and a couple of.23.11.18, show a revamped settings interface, with distinguished shortcuts for profile, privateness, and contacts, in addition to a extra organized format to facilitate person navigation.
These developments are a part of WhatsApp’s latest efforts to enhance its service choices. Earlier this month, the platform launched a brand new privateness characteristic that permits customers to cover and lock particular person conversations, which may solely be unlocked with a tool’s biometric authentication or password2. WhatsApp has additionally lately launched a characteristic that permits customers to edit despatched messages inside a 15-minute window, with a world rollout anticipated within the coming weeks.
It needs to be famous that these options are at present within the beta stage and are anticipated to be launched in a future replace of WhatsApp. With these enhancements, WhatsApp goals to supply its customers with larger privateness, improved usability, and a extra streamlined person interface.