WhatsApp has been spotted working on a new feature that will allow users to set a username for their profile. One of the most noteworthy features to surface in a beta version of the app, the potential addition of usernames may fundamentally change how users communicate on the platform. Users on the beta testing channel cannot try the feature as it is still under development, but a feature tracker has shared a preview of how the feature might look if it is rolled out to users at a future date.
The recently released WhatsApp for Android beta 188.8.131.52, contains code for a feature that will eventually allow users to select a username for their profile, according to WhatsApp feature tracker WABetaInfo. The feature is still in development, and while the Meta-owned messaging service hasn’t shared any details, the tracker has shared a preview of how it might appear.
According to the preview image shared by WABetaInfo, the messaging service will mention “This is your unique username”, under the username picker. This means that no two users can have the same username. This functionality is similar to services like Twitter, Instagram, and chat services like Telegram, where members can pick a unique username that others can use to contact them.
The feature tracker says that the username picker feature will be found by tapping the three-dot menu > Settings > Profile. It is located under the profile Name section, and above the About section. With a pencil icon located around all of these fields, it appears that users will also be able to modify their username. However, it is worth noting that the service could tweak or completely change how the feature works before it is rolled out.
While the preview of the feature shared by WABetaInfo gives us a sneak peek at usernames on WhatsApp, there is no word on how this feature will work. WhatsApp could potentially allow users the option to communicate with others using only a username, protecting their privacy. The Meta-owned messaging platform has traditionally relied on phone numbers to connect users to one another.