WhatsApp May Introduce Usernames to Protect Users’ Phone Numbers in Chats

If you are one of the two billion WhatsApp users around the world, you may soon be able to hide your phone number in chats you engage in on the messaging app. An upcoming WhatsApp update indicates that Android users may soon have the luxury of choosing unique usernames that may enable them to hide their personal phone numbers.

If this update rolls out, it will be similar to Instagram or Twitter handles where the personal phone numbers of users are not known. The exact way it will be implemented remains unknown at this stage since WhatsApp has neither confirmed nor denied the leaked update. However, it is obvious that users will find it helpful since the only way to register or communicate with anyone on the messaging app right now is via your phone numbers.

According to leaks, the coming WhatsApp username feature will be visible on the Profile page in Settings. TechCrunch said it confirmed the leak by inspecting the “code of the latest Android app and found references to the username field.” The references are “This is your unique username,” “WhatsApp username,” and “Choose my username.”

Once implemented, WhatsApp may boost the competition against Telegram, another messaging app. Telegram made it possible for users to hide their phone contacts and reveal their usernames instead. In 2022, Telegram also launched a TON blockchain feature which enabled users to bid for premium usernames and get them awarded to the highest bidder.

Just recently, WhatsApp said it would introduce a message editing feature that would enable users to edit a posted message 15 minutes after sending it. The edited message will, however, have the word “edited” on the timestamp so that the recipient can know that it was edited after initially sending it.

Earlier this month, a Chat Lock feature was released in which one-on-one or group chats may be locked and only unlocked via biometric scanning or password. Users can also stop messages from popping up on their screens if they do not want it.