WhatsApp next big change: Phone numbers no longer necessary

Whatsapp linking second smartphone

WhatsApp, the messenger that I have a specific relationship with, is about to undergo a significant change. The app, which limits contacts to phone numbers known to me, will soon allow users to create unique and searchable usernames. The change was spotted by WABetaInfo, a website that analyzes test versions of WhatsApp.

WhatsApp to Introduce Usernames Instead of Phone Numbers: A Step Toward Improved Privacy?

There is little information on how unique names will work in the messenger. However, we believe that this change is aiming to improve the privacy of users of the app. This is evidenced by the fact that conversations made by users with unique names are still protected by advanced end to end encryption, meaning that only the user can access them.

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Giving strangers a phone number is sensitive data in today’s world, so eliminating this necessity is a positive step. We don’t know yet when unique usernames will appear in WhatsApp. As the function is currently in the testing phase. The recently introduced edition of sent messages stayed in the developer’s limbo for over a year before it went to the stable version of the program.

Unique usernames are not a new solution, as they are also in use by other messaging services. Discord goes a step further by allowing users to set their preferred, independent nickname on each server. However, I hope that search by username will be an optional setting in WhatsApp. I wouldn’t want random people to start writing to me after they manage to find my unique nickname.

Overall, it is a positive step that WhatsApp is moving towards unique usernames. It will improve the privacy of users and make the app more accessible to those who may not want to share their phone numbers. If this feature becomes official as an optional setting, WhatsApp can confidently embrace the idea further.

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