WhatsApp multi-device support, Disappearing Mode, and more confirmed by Mark Zuckerberg

Highlights
  • Mark Zuckerberg himself has confirmed that multi-device support will come to WhatsApp in the coming months
  • Users will soon be able to use WhatsApp on up to four devices, including iPads, simultaneously
  • Public beta for the feature will start within two months

WhatsApp has been in the news for all the wrong reasons of late. Between its egregious privacy policy and spat with the Indian government, the messaging app has been at the receiving end of quite a lot of negative publicity. It’s now time for some positive WhatsApp news for a change. The long-awaited multi-device support will roll out within two months as a public beta, which means the feature will be available to only to a handful of users. The information comes from Facebook head honcho Mark Zuckerberg himself, who took time out to talk to popular WhatsApp tracker WABetaInfo about the future of the app as a platform. He also talked about the ‘disappearing messages’ mode for chats, another feature that has been in the works for a while. 

What is WhatsApp multi-device support?

As confirmed by Zuckerberg, users will soon be able to run WhatsApp on up to four devices simultaneously. You will no longer require your primary smartphone to remain connected to the internet for WhatsApp to work on a browser/desktop, like it works on WhatsApp Web right now. This basically means that even if your smartphone is out of network coverage area and without Wi-Fi, you will still be able to continue chatting on another device, like an iPad, as long as it has an active internet connection. Zuckerberg also confirms that the chats will remain end-to-end encrypted across all devices. He, however, added that it has been a ‘technical challenge’ to get this feature right. It makes sense, given that the multi-device support for WhatsApp has been in the works for a long time. 

it’s been a big technical challenge to get all your messages and content to sync, said Mark Zuckerberg

iPad users will soon be able to use WhatsApp on their devices natively without engaging in browser shenanigans. It is puzzling as to why a version of WhatsApp doesn’t exist for iPad, given that it is one of the most popular tablets out there. Unfortunately, no release date was hinted at, just a tacit acknowledgement that it could be in the works soon.

View Once, Disappearing Messages, and more iOS Beta users

Zuckerberg and WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart elaborated on other upcoming WhatsApp features. These include View Once, a feature that will allow users of the app to send photos and videos that can be viewed by the recipient only once before being deleted automatically. Disappearing Mode — an extension of the Disappearing Messages feature that is already available — also got a mention, with the company confirming that this mode will enable disappearing messages across the app instead of individual chats. Both these features are focussed on privacy, obviously. Another point that the WhatsApp executives brought up in the conversation with WABetaInfo was expanding the iOS beta program to add more people.

Also read: WhatsApp message claiming to offer 3 months free Internet is fake, don’t fall for it