Does WhatsApp’s New Username Feature Render Phone Number Sharing Obsolete?


WhatsApp Introduces Usernames to Boost Privacy by Eliminating the Need for Phone Number Sharing

WhatsApp is in the process of testing a novel username feature, enabling users to communicate with one another without the necessity of sharing their phone numbers. This Instagram-esque addition is designed to bolster user privacy by eliminating the need for personal number disclosure.

Initially spotted by WABetaInfo a few days ago in the beta version of WhatsApp for Android, it appears that the Meta-owned platform is now gradually introducing this feature to select beta users on iOS. According to the screenshot shared by the publication, the option to set a WhatsApp username can be found on the app’s profile page. It seems that the username field will accept a combination of alphanumeric characters along with select special characters. However, each username on the platform must be unique.

When someone initiates a chat using a person’s username, the linked phone number associated with that account will remain concealed unless the user opts to share it. The report also indicates that WhatsApp will permit both individuals and businesses to select their desired usernames. Much like regular WhatsApp conversations, chats commenced via usernames will feature end-to-end encryption.

In addition, developers appear to be rolling out a new reply bar feature, enabling users to send images, videos, and GIFs while viewing images or videos within a conversation. WhatsApp has been consistently introducing fresh features, including recent additions like Telegram-like Channels, a dedicated app for iPad, and UPI payments for business owners, to name just a few.

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