WhatsApp introduces a new privacy feature for community members, safeguarding phone numbers
WhatsApp, owned by Meta, made an announcement on Tuesday regarding the release of a new phone number privacy feature for community members, as reported by WaBetaInfo. According to the app-tracking website, users can access this feature by installing the latest update of WhatsApp for both iOS and Android devices. However, it is possible that certain previous versions of the app may also provide access to the same feature. The company plans to gradually roll out the feature to a wider audience in the coming days.
As part of its ongoing efforts to enhance user privacy, the popular instant messaging app has begun testing a new feature designed to add an extra layer of privacy when joining a community. This feature ensures that the phone numbers of community members remain hidden from each other. Once you join a community, you will not be able to view the phone numbers of other members, and vice versa. Additionally, the list of community participants is also concealed, preventing users from interacting with the community announcement group through message reactions, which could potentially reveal their phone numbers.
Notably, this new feature keeps phone numbers hidden even when someone reacts to a message. Currently, only a limited group of users have access to this feature. Users who benefit from this feature receive notifications informing them that their phone numbers are only visible to the community administrators and individuals who have saved their numbers as contacts. The feature is exclusively available to community members, as the administrators' phone numbers are always visible. Its purpose is to enable anonymous interaction among community members.
Furthermore, the WhatsApp watcher explained that in the event you wish to privately contact a community member whose phone number is hidden, you will have the option to send them a request. This allows the member to choose whether or not they want to share their phone number with you.