Mark Zuckerberg confirms multi-device support is coming to WhatsApp soon

Mark Zuckerberg confirms multi-device support is coming to WhatsApp soon

WhatsApp is the world’s most popular instant messaging service. Despite dominating the space for many years, the Facebook-owned messaging service has started to feel the heat from consumers and competitors. Controversial changes to WhatsApp’s privacy policy triggered many users to migrate to other platforms like Signal and Telegram in the search for more respect for privacy. The outrage does not seem to subside in spite of multiple attempts by WhatsApp to convey how much it values users’ privacy. On the sidelines, WhatsApp is continuing to add new features, and the company’s executives including Facebook head honcho Mark Zuckerberg have confirmed some key features making their way to the app and the most exciting one is support for multiple devices running the same WhatsApp account.

Along with multi-device support for up to four devices, WhatsApp will get some of Instagram’s features such as an app-wide disappearing mode and a “View Once” setting that will limit the views on any media to just one. These changes are arriving on the app in the coming months, as confirmed by WhatsApp CEO,  Will Cathcart, and Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, in an interview with WABetaInfo.

Multi-Device Support

WhatsApp is tied to a phone number and limits users to using it on a single device, unlike other messengers such as Telegram, which are accessible from multiple devices at once. Even when you use WhatsApp on your desktop, all messages are routed through the smartphone, which needs an active internet connection for homing. Naturally, alternatives that do not have these restrictions are more enticing in this aspect.

To fix this, WhatsApp will soon be allowed to run on up to four different devices linked to the same account simultaneously. This should work even if the primary device is not connected to the internet but, the executives did not confirm how the feature would work. We did get a glimpse of multi-device support last year from none other than WABetaInfo on Twitter and the splash screen says there is a “login process.” WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart, however, did confirm that the feature will roll out to WhatsApp beta in the “next month or two.”

This feature might finally open the possibility of a version of WhatsApp suited for the iPad, something that has been missed for quite some time.

View Once

If you exchange images or videos recorded on Instagram with other users via DMs, you would know that the media can be viewed only once — unless specified. This feature will now come soon to WhatsApp as “View Once,” wherein the media will disappear after being viewed by the person on the other end.

The feature was also predicted by WABetaInfo earlier. Its screenshot from a version of the app reverse-engineered by them, as seen below, disclaims that the receiver would still be able to take a screenshot before the media disappears.

Notably, View Once differs from the Self-destructing images, which vanish as soon as the user leaves a chat but can be opened countless times as long as they stay in one chat.

Disappearing Mode

WhatsApp rolled out Disappearing Messages to all users in November last year. The feature allows messages in a particular chat to get deleted automatically seven days after being sent. Following this, the messaging app will now get a Disappearing Mode, which will be an app-wide setting to change all chats to Disappearing ones. It is worth noting that the setting will only apply automatically to chats initiated after turning the feature on and not on the older ones.

Other features

Unlike multiple devices support, neither Cathcart nor Zuckerberg commented on a timeline for releasing these features. Since they have already been spotted earlier by WABetaInfo, we hope to see them soon. Alongside these promised features, the executives indicated the possibility of opening up the beta channel for iOS users once again.

Meanwhile, if you are an Android user and want to try these features before others, you can sign up for the beta on the Google Play Store.

Let us know in the comments what you think about these features!

WhatsApp Messenger
WhatsApp Messenger
Developer: WhatsApp LLC
Price: Free

About author

Tushar Mehta
Tushar Mehta

I am a Senior Editor at XDA. I have been reviewing gadgets for over five years and gained experience by working for prominent tech publications in India before joining XDA. I enjoy fiddling with all smart objects and my love for software customization dates back to the Symbian S60 days. I like to devote my spare time idealizing the romantic union of technology and philosophy or spacing out on Pink Floyd. You may email me at [email protected]