Christmas has come early for WhatsApp, it seems. After getting a host of updates to its Business API to make it easier for businesses to get started on its platform, WhatsApp is finally getting its long-rumored multi-device support, which will be entering public beta in coming months, allowing the users to use WhatsApp simultaneously on multiple devices (a maximum of 4 devices), Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed on Thursday.
Other features which will be added to WhatsApp are the new “Disappearing Mode” (it will be expanded from its current version) and the “View Once” mode. The news was revealed in an interview between WABetaInfo (a website that has more than once revealed upcoming features before they are released) and Zuckerberg and WhatsApp head Will Cathcart. Cathcart said that a dedicated WhatsApp app for the iPad was also in the works, adding that the beta for the multi-device support would be rolled out to more iOS users soon.
The “Disappearing Mode” will be expanded – it currently allows messages to be deleted after a set period of time (seven days). The new “disappearing mode” will let users turn on disappearing messages across all chat threads.
If you are concerned that the multi-device feature will compromise your texts, rest assured that the end-to-end encryption will remain unmolested. “It’s been a big technical challenge to get all your messages and content to sync properly across devices even when your phone battery dies, but we’ve solved this and we’re looking forward to getting it out soon!” Zuckerberg said.
The multi-device feature is something users have looked forward to for a long time. Currently, WhatsApp is tied to one specific phone and number, meaning that it can only be used properly on that device. This was an area where WhatsApp’s competitors Telegram and other apps have an advantage, allowing users to use multiple devices. Hopefully, this will even the playing field.
Additionally, the “View Once” feature is also coming, which will allow users to send content that disappears after it’s been viewed, that is, people will be able to view the content (like photos and videos) only once before they disappear from the chat. However, people can still take screenshots of the content before it disappears. No specific date has been given regarding the launch of this feature.