Channel usernames to come to WhatsApp (days after Signal introduced profile usernames)

Channel usernames to come to WhatsApp (days after Signal introduced profile usernames)
It’s the start of the week and WhatsApp has something new going on: soon, users may set usernames for channels on the popular messaging app.

WhatsApp’s plans come to light mere days after another messaging app – Signal – announced that it’s testing public usernames for individuals (via Android Police). Using usernames instead of phone numbers is a move in the direction of enhancing anonymity.

The last time we discussed WhatsApp and the possibility of introducing a usernames-instead-of-number feature, was in May. Back then, the rumor had it that WhatsApp could enable usernames and thus make it safer by no longer needing to reveal one’s phone number to other contacts within WhatsApp.

Half a year later, things have changed a bit. On the WABetaInfo site, there’s information that WhatsApp (that’s the beta for Android version will not embrace profile usernames (for now; this feature is still being developed, but saved for a later point in the future), but usernames could arrive on channels.

This feature is under development so it’s not ready for beta testers, but you can get a glimpse, as there’s a preview from WABetaInfo, here it is:

“We believe that this feature brings important advantages to the user experience. Users will be able to share channel information more consistently by using usernames, since this finally eliminates the need to share complex channel links. In addition, channels can establish a more recognizable presence by having a unique username. We think that this is especially beneficial for anyone who want to build a distinct identity and make its channel easily accessible”, the team at WABetaInfo says.

WhatsApp ads should stay out of the inbox

Just the other day, WhatsApp once again reassured users that they won’t see ads in the super popular messaging app – at least not in their chat inbox section.

In an interview for a Brazilian news media, WhatsApp boss Will Cathcart elaborated on the app’s future and how Meta, which acquired WhatsApp, makes money with the free WhatsApp

When asked about displaying ads in the app, Cathcart emphasized that the company “will not place ads in the inbox or chats”.

“We don’t think that’s the right model. People, when they open their inbox, don’t want to see advertising,” he said. However, the executive doesn’t rule out the idea of WhatsApp showing ads in other parts of the app.

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