WhatsApp beta users can now hide their numbers
WhatsApp is bolstering its privacy protocols for community users by introducing an innovative feature that allows members to shield their phone numbers from view.
In a typical community chat, participant identities remain concealed, with the exception of administrators who can view all members' names. However, as reported by WABetaInfo, this veil of anonymity thins when you respond to a message in the community announcement group, thereby publicly exposing your phone number. Enter the new 'Phone Number Privacy' feature, ensuring that your contact information stays away from unwanted scrutiny.
Early reports, replete with illustrative images, indicate that the community's announcement group information menu will include a 'Phone Number Privacy' option. Engaging this option triggers a prompt, clarifying that despite your efforts to conceal your details, certain individuals can still view your number.
These include community admins and individuals who have saved your number or have access to it from other chats. Furthermore, if you wish to reach out to a member who has chosen to hide their number, you can send a request, asking them to disclose their contact details.
Please note, this feature is exclusively available to community members. If you're a community creator or an administrator, WhatsApp's privacy settings don't permit you to hide your phone number.
How to try out Phone Number Privacy?
To get a first-hand experience of the 'Phone Number Privacy' feature, you can download the latest WhatsApp beta version for Android from the Google Play Store or for iOS from the Apple App Store, provided you already have access.
Regrettably, for iPhone users who haven't gained early access, Apple's TestFlight program for WhatsApp isn't taking on new applicants. Conversely, Android users are in luck, as Google's beta program for the Play Store is still welcoming new participants.
According to WABetaInfo, the beta version is being rolled out in phases. Consequently, the 'Phone Number Privacy' feature might not be instantly available post-installation. Therefore, it's advisable to stay vigilant for the beta's arrival on your device. As for the official launch date of this feature, it remains a mystery. However, given its beta release, we anticipate that 'Phone Number Privacy' will soon be widely accessible.
It's worth noting that WABetaInfo hints at the potential expansion of this update to other WhatsApp groups, though the specific groups are yet to be identified. It would indeed be a significant upgrade if smaller WhatsApp groups could also enjoy this added layer of privacy.
- Read also: How to hide your WhatsApp Online status