- The latest beta version of WhatsApp is rolling out.
- The new beta contains code that suggests WhatsApp is working on introducing usernames.
- Users may be able to hide their phone numbers and show their usernames instead.
The latest update to WhatsApp is rolling out through the Google Play Beta Program. This beta version of the app suggests WhatsApp usernames could be in store for the future.
While looking through the code of the freshly released update, the folks over at WABetaInfo noticed a new feature. It appears that WhatsApp is working on introducing usernames to the app.
Currently, accounts solely use phone numbers as a way to identify users. Adding the option to create a username would give accounts another way to be identified.
One of WhatsApp’s biggest competitors — Telegram — has already implemented usernames. It allows users to hide their contact information and provide their usernames. Additionally, it also started doing auctions for premium usernames for individuals and channels using the TON blockchain.
Since the feature is still in development, it’s too early to know how WhatsApp will use usernames. It’s possible that the app would allow users to hide their phone numbers and show their usernames instead. This would provide an extra layer of privacy, especially when communicating with others outside of your circle of friends and family. The app could also make it possible to search for people via their username instead of their phone number. Will WhatsApp mimic Telegram and start holding auctions for premium usernames? We’ll have to wait and see.
According to the outlet, the username field will be located on the Profile page in Settings. There’s no guarantee that the feature will be made public, but it’s possible it could arrive in the future.