whatsapp is working on a feature that would let you have a username

WhatsApp is reportedly working on introducing usernames, according to a discovery by WABetaInfo, a website that tracks upcoming WhatsApp features. This new option would allow users to establish a unique username for their accounts, in addition to their phone numbers.

WABetaInfo spotted evidence of the feature in the latest WhatsApp beta for Android. Within the app settings under “Profile,” there will be a section dedicated to choosing a username. This indicates that WhatsApp is working to roll this up in a future update.

Usernames could offer WhatsApp users an additional layer of privacy by allowing them to communicate without revealing their phone numbers. Users will be able to search for and message others within WhatsApp by entering their chosen usernames, without knowing their contact’s phone number.

These may also enable users to contact businesses privately, safeguarding their phone numbers. Their functionality could be even more extensive, facilitating private communication with any user. Further details on how usernames will work are not yet available.

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Conversations initiated through usernames will still be end-to-end encrypted, preserving privacy and security, according to WaBeta’s analysis of the code.

A Privacy-Centric WhatsApp Would Constitute a Paradigm Shift

wabeta screenshot of the username featureWABetaInfo claims the ability to set a WhatsApp username is “under development” for beta testers. The blog closely monitors WhatsApp’s app updates for clues about upcoming features by analyzing code within new versions.

The potential rollout of usernames across WhatsApp’s massive user base would represent a significant paradigm shift for the platform. WhatsApp, which is owned by Meta, has prioritized user privacy in recent years by bolstering encryption across its services.

As WhatsApp continues testing and refining the username feature, further details about how it will work may emerge. But the discovery suggests WhatsApp is serious about privacy-centric innovation as it seeks to stay relevant against competing messaging apps.

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Telegram, one of WhatsApp’s most prominent rival messaging apps, has made available for years the possibility of setting a public username that users can rely on to be found by third parties.

Meanwhile, those who opt to sign up for a Telegram Premium account receive a badge that resembles the verified account badges that were previously handed out by Twitter and Instagram to celebrities and “notorious” public figures.

This move from WhatsApp could be a step forward to let users link their Meta accounts and social media profiles to the messaging app so they can be easily reached without necessarily revealing their phone numbers.

The Meta Verified program, which has been rolled out in multiple corners of the world already, may help users build a verified profile across all Meta’s apps so they can further reduce the risk of being impersonated.

A couple of days ago, WhatsApp rolled out a major update that let users edit their messages within the first 15 minutes after the communication has been sent. The relevance of this feature was evidenced by the fact that it was no other than Mark Zuckerberg – the founder and CEO of the successful social media company – who announced it.

An “edited” tag will appear right next to the message that has been modified. The feature is being progressively rolled out across multiple markets, operating systems, and devices and should be available to everyone within a few weeks.

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