WhatsApp keeps working on improving communities. After announcing a new interface for the communities tab, WhatsApp is now releasing a new phone number privacy feature for community members, which is available after installing the most recent update of WhatsApp for iOS and Android.
|Name of the feature?||Phone number privacy|
|Compatibility?||WhatsApp beta for Android 184.108.40.206 and WhatsApp beta for iOS 220.127.116.11 are marked as compatible updates. Note that since this is a wider release, some users may be able to get the same feature by installing certain previous versions of the app.|
|I’ve installed this update but I don’t have this feature. Why?||This feature is available to some users, and it’s rolling out to more accounts over the coming weeks.|
|Thanks:||Youssef Salem, ismailhnd, Sc, Saadh Jawwadh, Muhammad Hammad, franrazzitte, orirund, and Technical MJ TV, for testing and reporting!|
|Previous news?||WhatsApp for iOS 23.13.80: what’s new? WhatsApp is widely rolling out a tweaked interface that features translucent bars!|
PHONE NUMBER PRIVACY
In the past few months, WhatsApp quietly started testing a new feature for communities that would add an extra layer of privacy to your account when joining a community. This feature, called “phone number privacy”, ensures that your phone number is always hidden from other members of the community. In reality, when you join a community, the community participants list is already hidden in the community announcement group, but users cannot interact with the community announcement group through message reactions as this action would reveal their phone number. Thanks to this feature, the phone number will remain hidden even when adding a reaction to a message. This feature was available to a very limited group of users and it seems it is finally widely rolling out to more users on the latest version of the app!
As you can see in this screenshot, there may be a new option located in the community announcement group info called “phone number privacy”. The feature prompts an alert by informing users that their phone number is only visible to community admins and other people who have saved them as a contact. This feature will hide your phone number so all other participants won’t be able to see your full phone number in the conversation. Note that this feature is limited to community members and the community admin’s phone number is always visible.
This feature introduces a major advantage in terms of privacy: users will be able to interact with the community announcement group in complete anonymity, for example, by adding a reaction to a message. In this situation, the full phone number won’t be visible. Note that the ability to react to messages within the community announcement group is already available to some users. In the future, the phone number privacy feature will also be extended to other groups. In addition, in case you are able to privately contact a community member whose phone number is hidden, you will have the option to send them a request so that they can choose to share their phone number with you.
The new phone number privacy feature for communities is available to some beta testers 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, and it is rolling out to even more people over the coming days.
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