It seems that WhatsApp is taking a page out of other social media apps and working on a new feature. According to a report by WABetaInfo – a known WhatsApp tracker – the Meta-owned messaging service is working on a feature to let users set up their own usernames for their accounts. The feature was first spotted while WABetaInfo was going through the latest WhatsApp beta for Android 22.214.171.124 update from the Google Play Store.
This announcement comes on the heels of the release of another sought-out feature at the Meta-owned service – the ability to let users edit their message within 15 minutes of sending it. Edited messages will have the word “edited” written beside the timestamp, although the recipient(s) will not be able to see exactly what the edit was.
The introduction of usernames in WhatsApp could offer users greater privacy and control over their identities. So far, users need to share their phone numbers (or QR codes) with those who wants to message them on WhatsApp, making it a major privacy and security concern. Now, instead of relying solely on phone numbers or QR codes, which are often tied to personal information, users could create unique usernames that provide a layer of anonymity and limit exposure of personal details.
Simply put, usernames will offer an additional layer of privacy as users can create unique identifiers that don’t reveal their personal information. This will empower users to control their online presence and safeguard their privacy. By disconnecting their online presence from their phone numbers, users can gain a higher level of anonymity and protect their identity from potential threats. By reducing the likelihood of their phone numbers being linked to their online activities, the feature also mitigates the potential for unwanted data tracking or profiling (which is a serious concern at the digital age).
Users will have the flexibility to create personalized usernames that reflect their individuality, interests, or professional identity. The development also opens up new possibilities for businesses and marketers. Furthermore, they can leverage usernames to establish official brand identities and create personalized experiences for customers.
WABetaInfo reports that the feature to enable users to select and set up their own usernames is currently under development, which hints that the feature will roll out in a future update of the app. The feature is set to feature within the app settings and is not ready to be released to beta testers.