WhatsApp’s phone number privacy feature for communities is said to be available with WhatsApp beta for Android version 18.104.22.168.
WhatsApp is reportedly rolling out a new privacy-focused feature for community members. The new functionality previously said to be in testing would let users hide their phone numbers while joining a community. The feature called “phone number privacy”, is reportedly available to all Android and iOS beta testers. With this, users can participate in conversations and show their reactions to messages by hiding their names and phone numbers from other members of the community. The Meta-owned instant messaging app has not officially revealed when it intends to make the phone number privacy feature live for all users.
As per a report by WhatsApp features tracker WABetainfo, WhatsApp has released a phone number privacy feature for communities for all Android and iOS beta testers. It is said to be available for all Android and iOS beta testers with WhatsApp beta for Android version 22.214.171.124 and iOS 126.96.36.199 beta version for iOS respectively.
With this feature, the phone number of the user can be hidden from all members while joining a community. At present, the community participants list is already hidden in the community announcement group, but if a user interacts with messages through reactions, their phone number would be revealed. The new phone number privacy feature will ensure that your contact number will remain out of sight of other participants in the Community even while adding reactions to a message.
The report also includes a screenshot showing the phone number privacy feature for communities, giving users an idea of what it might look like when it starts widely rolling out. It can be accessed from the ‘Community announcement group info’. While turning on this feature, WhatsApp alerts users that their number will stay hidden from other participants except for the community admin and the members who have already saved their contact numbers. This new privacy feature is only applicable to community members as the community admin’s phone number is always visible. Users will also have the option to share it with specific community participants later as per preference.
However, WhatsApp has not yet officially announced the rollout of the phone number privacy feature. It might change before the final release. In case you are curious to try the new security feature, you can download the latest build of WhatsApp from Google Play, Apple Store and the TestFlight app.