- WhatsApp may allow users to hide their phone numbers to be more secure.
- The new security feature is currently in testing mode and there’s no information yet as to when will it roll out.
- However, the feature will be available to members for being part of only specific communities such as those open to business.
Meta’s WhatsApp is now working on building more security features and as per an update on WhatsApp feature tracker WABetaInfo, the messaging app is now testing a new security feature which will enable users to hide their phone numbers in groups and WhatsApp Communities which are open for business purposes. The feature is being tested with Android beta version 18.104.22.168 and when it will be open soon for all its users is still unknown.
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WhatsApp Communities is a new feature that WhatsApp is currently building. it will be more like a ‘hub of groups’ wherein everyone will have an option of running their own community with various groups, thus having diversity. This feature will help in organising multiple groups in a better way.
WhatsApp explained how it is open for everyone to create a community and send an invite for joining their communities to various groups across the platform. These communities will thus act as an umbrella for various subgroups within it and will have access to broadcasting messages across these subgroups. However, the catch is that the group admin of those particular sub groups will have to accept the invites first to become a part of a particular community first, and only community admins will have access to sending messages to the members of the community.
The new security feature of hiding phone numbers comes in wake of the fact that generally in business WhatsApp groups and in these communities there are many random members. Hence, it becomes imperative to hide one’s number for security purposes. The new feature will cater to this privacy need of users. WhatsApp also mentioned on an FAQ page, that users will have an option of leaving these communities silently i.e. without notifying other members about the same and blocking and reporting accounts within it.
The good part is neither the users of one group will be able to see messages of other groups who are part of that same community nor will they have access to phone numbers of other group members. Currently, in the initial phase, the instant messaging app is only looking forward to enabling announcements in the community for a particular number, say thousands of members.
New feature will enable users to hide their phone numbers
According to WABetaInfo’s update, the feature will be inactive for all users at first, by default. The users can later change the settings before joining a WhatsApp group. Users can also choose to unhide their contact details with a particular group. The update also had a screenshot reflecting the appearance of a new feature to give users some insight.
Lately, WhatsApp has been working on many other features as well. Mark Zuckerberg also recently announced rolling a new WhatsApp privacy campaign with three new privacy features. These may include exiting WhatsApp groups without notifying other members, controlling your online status by customising who can see you’re online, and to block users from taking screenshots of view-once WhatsApp messages. Other features include a new ‘login approval’ prompt feature, enabling group admins to delete messages for all, allowing users to store disappearing chats, etc.