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WhatsApp usernames in development, for simplicity and privacy

WhatsApp usernames look likely to be offered in a future version of the secure chat app. This would potentially make it easier to add contacts, and offer greater privacy …

Currently, if you want to add someone as a WhatsApp contact, you give them your phone number. There is a secondary option to share a QR code, but that’s a lot fiddlier, and it’s not advisable to make a habit of scanning QR codes unless you know for sure that the source is safe.

You may also be happy to add someone as a chat contact, but less happy about having to reveal your phone number to do so. WhatsApp owner Meta appears to be working on addressing this.

WAbetainfo reports that the latest update to the Android app has added a username field. The upcoming feature cannot yet be used, but the site says it is on the way.

WhatsApp is working on a feature to set up a WhatsApp username, and it will be available in a future update of the app!

It’s common for WhatsApp features to appear first in the Android app, before being rolled out to the iOS app.

It follows some other significant improvements to both iOS and Android apps. These include the ability to edit messages for a short time after they’ve been sent, and using the same account on more than one phone. Short video messages are also on the way.

Photo: Mika Baumeister/Unsplash

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