The Latest WhatsApp Update Might Enable Users to Communicate with Strangers Without Sharing Phone Numbers.
Meta-owned WhatsApp is actively developing a new feature to introduce usernames to the platform, following earlier reports of the app working on this feature. The Android beta version revealed a feature allowing users to set a username for their profiles. In the latest development, WhatsApp is refining the usernames feature, enabling users to search for others on the platform using their usernames. This functionality, similar to Telegram’s search by username feature, could potentially facilitate communication between users without sharing phone numbers.
The upcoming update, expected in WhatsApp version 126.96.36.199 through the Google Play Beta Program, includes a search bar allowing users to find others by name, username, or number. This enhancement aims to make communications more private, eliminating the need to share phone numbers when initiating a new chat. Users will have the option to set, change, or remove their unique usernames.
The ability to search users by username is slated for release in a future update, with no additional details available at this time. Recent reports also indicate WhatsApp working on channel usernames and a new username picker for iOS 188.8.131.52. The unique username feature, which accepts alphabets, numbers, and certain special characters, will be optional.
WhatsApp continues to focus on privacy features, with the recent introduction of the Secret Code feature for locked chats. This feature enables users to conceal sensitive conversations behind a code, adding an extra layer of protection beyond device PINs, passcodes, facial recognition, or fingerprint scanning.