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WhatsApp was recently spotted working on an option to hide the online status of users. Now, the meta-owned instant messaging service is reportedly working on a new privacy-focused feature that allows users to hide their phone numbers from certain sub-groups of a community on its Android app. The feature named phone number sharing has been spotted in development on WhatsApp for Android beta 184.108.40.206, which is available via the Google Play beta programme. The feature is currently unavailable to testers, as it is currently in development.
According to a report by WhatsApp features tracker WABetaInfo, WhatsApp will soon allow people to hide phone numbers from specific WhatsApp groups on Android. This option will be deactivated by default. While joining a group, your phone number will be automatically hidden from all members, but you can share it with a specific sub-group later as per preference.
The messaging platform is said to be rolling out the update via the Google Play beta programme, with the 220.127.116.11 beta for Android. The report comes with a screenshot showing the phone number sharing feature for communities, giving users an idea of what it might look like when it starts rolling out.
As per the report, this functionality will be exclusive to WhatsApp communities. It is not yet available for beta testers and is expected to undergo changes before the final release.
In addition to the ability to hide the numbers from communities, WABetaInfo suggests that the messaging service is working on a method to protect users from malicious users with a new Login Approval feature. Spotted recently in development, it builds on the two-step verification feature available in WhatsApp, and users may receive alerts inside WhatsApp when a user logs in to an account from a different smartphone.
WhatsApp is also bringing several updates to make chats more convenient on its platform. It is reportedly getting a new feature that allows users to hide online status. The feature is reportedly under development and not yet ready to be released to beta testers.