WhatsApp recently added a new feature that allows users to start chats with unknown people by searching for their phone numbers, without saving them in the address book. This feature makes chatting with unknown numbers easier and more private, and it is available to users that install the latest versions of WhatsApp for iOS and Android.
|Name of the feature?||Open chat with unknown phone numbers|
|Compatibility?||Latest versions of WhatsApp for iOS and Android are marked as compatible updates.|
|I’ve installed the latest update but I don’t have this feature. Why?||This feature may still be available to some users. Please, keep your WhatsApp version up to date to increase the chances to get this feature soon.|
|Previous news?||WhatsApp beta for iOS 22.214.171.124: what’s new? WhatsApp is widely rolling out a feature to allow users to be notified when channels are available!|
OPEN UNKNOWN CHATS
In the past few weeks, WhatsApp released a highly anticipated feature that allows users to initiate chats with unknown people by simply searching for their phone numbers. Users always experienced certain limitations when trying to initiate a chat with someone on WhatsApp without first saving their contact information, and they had to rely on third-party apps or the official click-to-chat APIs, which might be more complicated to use for some users. With this feature, WhatsApp is making it easier for users to start conversations without saving contacts to their address book, and it is available after installing the latest versions of WhatsApp for iOS and Android.
As you can see in this screenshot, WhatsApp will look outside your contacts every time you enter an unknown phone number within the application. To discover if the feature is available to your WhatsApp account, you need to search for a phone number by opening your contact lists. Specifically, if you use WhatsApp for iOS, tap the button “start new chat” in the chat list and enter the unknown phone number within the search bar. In case the contact is on WhatsApp, you will be able to open the chat with them. Since this feature is not exclusive to the iOS app, Android users can follow the same steps to quickly search and open a chat with unknown phone numbers.
In our opinion, we believe that this feature is highly beneficial. Users frequently save contacts in their address book when they receive calls from unknown phone numbers, so they can identify them by checking their WhatsApp profile photos, but they might forget to remove these contacts later. In addition, saving an unknown contact means that they might be able to see your profile photo: searching for the phone number without saving it in the contact list can be considered an additional privacy measure and it definitely marks a significant step forward in enhancing the messaging user experience.
Note that the feature to quickly open a chat with unknown contacts by searching for their phone numbers is not a beta feature as it is also available to users that install the latest stable updates of the app. Specifically, it is available to users that install the latest WhatsApp for Android update from the Google Play Store and WhatsApp for iOS from the App Store and the TestFlight app.
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