New feature for searching people on WhatsApp in the works

Upcoming feature to reduce reliance on phone numbers

By Web Desk
December 01, 2023
The representational image showing WhatsApp logo on a smart phone. — AFP/File

Continuing the trend to bring more improvements to the app, Meta-owned messenger WhatsApp is reportedly developing a feature to search people by their usernames, WABetaInfo reported.

For those who are unaware of yet-to-be released "username" feature for Android, the messaging app is currently working on the update allowing users to set a username on their profiles

However, as per the latest reports, an option to search people by their usernames is also in the works.

"Thanks to this feature [username], users will have the option to interact with others using a distinct identifier, reducing the reliance on phone numbers," the WhatsApp news tracker said.

The latest WhatsApp beta for Android 2.23.25.19 update showed that WhatsApp is working on further improvements regarding the "username" feature for a future update of the app.

This screenshot shows how the updated search bar within the app would look. As you can see, the users will be given options to search by name, username, or number.

— WABetaInfo

As per WABetaInfo, this would enhance the process of connecting and improving privacy by eliminating the need to share personal phone numbers.

"WhatsApp will provide users with a strong layer of privacy thanks to the ability to search for others using a username," the WhatsApp news tracker said, as users will not necessarily need to disclose their phone numbers while connecting.

The users will simply share their usernames, making it easier for others to find and connect with them within the app.

Both the "username" and "search by username" features are under development and will be available in a future update of the app.

It may be noted that the choice to configure a username is totally optional, and users will always have control over this feature as they can remove their current username at any time, WABetaInfo said.