WhatsApp Usernames May Let You Keep Your Phone Number Private

WhatsApp appears to have a username feature in the works that could potentially provide people on the messaging service with an additional layer of privacy.

Whatsapp Feature
As things stand, if someone wants to add you as a WhatsApp contact, you're required to share your phone number with them, even if they add you via the QR code method.

That's how it's always worked in WhatsApp, but it looks as if Meta's developers understand that users might sometimes prefer to add certain contacts without revealing their phone number.

WABetaInfo has spotted a WhatsApp username field in the latest beta Android app, allowing users to choose unique usernames for their accounts. The likelihood is that WhatsApp intends to let users reach other people by entering a username instead, much like Telegram.

As the feature is still in development, it's too early to tell how usernames will work when they are rolled out. They may allow users to safeguard their phone numbers when communicating with particular accounts, like businesses, but the hope is that they will provide more general private communication between users.

WhatsApp has been on a roll recently in announcing new features, including the ability to edit sent messages, a new chat Lock feature, and the ability to use the same account on multiple phones. There's still no sign of an iPad app, though.

Top Rated Comments

TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
5 days ago at 07:11 am
My WhatsApp username is going to be: WhatsAppforiPad
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mystery hill Avatar
5 days ago at 07:19 am

My WhatsApp username is going to be: WhatsAppforiPad
Mine is going to be TheYayAreaLiving?️
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
krspkbl Avatar
5 days ago at 07:09 am
Why do they need our phone number at all?

So they can match it against Facebook/Instagram and collect all of our data?

Let me sign up without my phone number (or Sign In With Apple) and I might join WhatsApp. Not that I really want to. I think anything to do with Facebook should die.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gnik Nus Avatar
5 days ago at 07:39 am

I hate using WhatsApp and prefer iMessage but unfortunately some of my family members use WhatsApp only
I refuse to use WhatsApp or any app from Fakebook/Meta. I don't care that my family members or business partners only use WhatsApp. That's their choice, not mine. If they want anything from me, they can call me, send an sms, send an e-mail, or contact me through one of the other million ways we have to communicate with each other today. To hell with Meta's strategy of trying to control the communication of the entire world. They will never get me. Never, ever in a trizillion freaking years.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Havalo Avatar
5 days ago at 07:11 am
Nothing sinister here from Meta, folks.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
5 days ago at 07:36 am
I’ve always hated that someone has to be in your contact list for you to send them a message. You’re not able to manually enter a number in the chat menu
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Google Assistant

Google I/O 2016: Assistant, Home, Allo, Duo, Android N, and More

Wednesday May 18, 2016 11:51 am PDT by
Google hosted its annual I/O developers keynote at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California today, announcing multiple new products and services related to Android, search, messaging, home automation, and more. Google Assistant Google Assistant is described as a "conversational assistant" that builds upon Google Now based on two-way dialog. The tool can be used, for example,...