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  • Isabel Encinares

WhatsApp Has Started Testing Multi-Device Compatibility

In line with the growing range of gadgets and devices being used in daily life, Facebook has recently announced that they are conducting a limited public beta test of its new multi-device capability for WhatsApp. The new test will allow different WhatsApp users to use the app on different devices without requiring them to use their phones.

According to Facebook:

"With this new capability, you can now use WhatsApp on your phone and up to four other non-phone devices simultaneously - even if your phone battery is dead. Each companion device will connect to your WhatsApp independently while maintaining the same level of privacy and security through end-to-end encryption that people who use WhatsApp have come to expect. Importantly, we have developed new technologies to maintain end-to-end encryption while still managing to sync your data - such as contact names, chat archives, starred messages, and more - across devices."

This means that the new update will provide WhatsApp users with more ways to connect and chat. The new function will allow WhatsApp to function similarly to Messenger and Instagram Direct, however is slightly different as WhatsApp is also aiming for its additional security elements to be made available even on other devices.

According to Will Cathcart, WhatsApp’s chief:

"Until now, WhatsApp has only been available on one device at a time, and desktop and web support only worked by mirroring off your phone - which meant your phone had to be on and have an active internet connection. Our multi-device capability immediately makes the experience better for people who use desktop/web and Portal. And it also will make it possible to add support for more kinds of devices over time."

Facebook will be utilizing ‘Automatic Device Verification’ in order to automatically establish and recognize different connections. Through this process, WhatsApp continues to maintain its privacy standard while also opening up doors to new opportunities. Through the introduction of multi-device WhatsApp compatibility, convenience will increase and brands may also find chances to improve WhatsApp brand presence.

Aside from improving device compatibility, Facebook has also been working on allowing cross-messaging between its many messaging apps. The company aims to eventually allow users to send messages from WhatsApp to Instagram Direct, and/or Messenger, all while maintaining message privacy and encryption.

While the convenience does sound great, this has caused quite a bit of a commotion among regulatory groups. One of the biggest concerns around cross-platform messaging is that Facebook’s full-message encryption could allow criminals to disguise their message and hide among the safety of Facebook’s privacy policy. Moreover, antitrust analysts have speculated that connecting Facebook’s numerous messaging platform’s could result in the company having too much market power.

The connection of WhatsApp messaging with Facebook’s other platforms was actually at the core of WhatsApp’s most recent controversial privacy policy change. As such, the possible reactions of WhatsApp users to cross-platform messaging may be quite interesting. WhatsApp’s users were extremely upset after hearing that WhatsApp would be sharing data with Facebook, imagine how much more data the app will need to share in order for cross-device messaging to successfully be implemented.

In any case, the increase in the number of WhatsApp compatible devices is sure to make it easier to manage your messages, connections, and businesses.

Want to read more about Facebook’s process? Check it out HERE!

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