Discover How WhatsApp’s Latest Update Brings Enhanced Privacy and User-Friendly Search Functionality to Millions
WhatsApp, a popular instant messaging platform, is on the brink of a significant update that promises to transform user interaction and privacy. For years, WhatsApp has operated primarily through phone numbers, requiring them for account creation and making them visible in individual and group chats. However, this norm is set to change with the introduction of a username feature, currently in development and spotted in the latest Android beta version.
The new feature allows users to create custom usernames, adding a layer of privacy by eliminating the need to share phone numbers. This is particularly advantageous for communicating with new contacts or in situations where sharing a phone number may not be ideal.
With over 2 billion users, WhatsApp’s approach to usernames will be crucial. The feature’s development was confirmed by WABetaInfo, a reliable source for WhatsApp’s new features, and further evidenced by references found in the code of the latest Android app. The username section is expected to be visible on the Profile page in Settings, allowing users to set, change, or remove their usernames at will.
Interestingly, the concept of usernames isn’t new in the messaging app sphere. Telegram, a competitor, has long allowed users to display usernames instead of phone numbers. Last year, Telegram even launched auctions for premium usernames based on the TON blockchain. It will be intriguing to see how WhatsApp handles the demand for unique usernames and safeguards them against misuse.
Another significant aspect of this update is the ‘search by username’ feature. This functionality will enable users to find others by typing their usernames in the search bar, a shift from the current method of searching via phone numbers. This feature is a part of WhatsApp’s broader effort to enhance privacy. Recently, the app also introduced a new privacy feature that allows users to hide and lock individual conversations, accessible only via biometric authentication or a password.
As of now, there’s no official release date for the stable version of this feature. It remains under development, and the final implementation details are awaited. WhatsApp’s move to introduce usernames and related search functionality marks a significant step towards enhancing user privacy and ease of connectivity, aligning with modern digital communication trends.