As of writing, WhatsApp is testing and implementing new functions at a very rapid rate. In addition to voice previews and extensive management for group admins, the app appears to be testing a simple visual feature to remind users that their calls and chats are secured and end-to-end encrypted.
A new footer in the Status and Calls section with a statement that says “Your status/personal calls are end-to-end encrypted” was first reported by WABetaInfo (via).
Currently, this function can be found under Status and Calls, however, it will be added to Chats shortly. It’s one of the simplest additions to the application, and it doesn’t alter the program’s functioning at all. However, in light of recent criticism of WhatsApp’s parent company, Meta, it serves as a vital warning for consumers concerned about their privacy.
The latest encryption features aren’t widely available yet
The screenshot clearly shows that the feature is only available on WhatsApp for iOS. Aside from that, WABetaInfo reports that the footer will be rolled out to Android in the future.
Because it is still being worked on, users may not be able to view the new addition immediately away. In any case, the new features should be available on WhatsApp for Android and iOS very soon.
The reference of Meta or Facebook elicits privacy worries in the minds of many people. As a result of these concerns, WhatsApp wants to reassure its customers that personal or group texts and calls are completely secure. Encryption methods for cloud chat backups have also been added to the chat client lately.
The advent of encrypted messaging applications like Signal and Telegram may be a factor in this decision. Millions of people rushed to the aforementioned services following the debate around WhatsApp’s privacy protection policy shift this year. Although WhatsApp currently holds a sizable portion of the worldwide instant messaging industry, its overall dominance is eroding with time.
WhatsApp just added the option to hide one’s “last seen” status from outsiders or unidentified contacts, which is a privacy-enhancing feature. According to a corporate official, such implementation will strengthen the “Privacy and security” of the users all around the world.
Moreover, WhatsApp has taken a few initiatives to boost its user base. Local business directories for restaurants, cafés, and supermarkets were included as part of the app in September. The pilot was launched in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but it has not yet been rolled out to other locations.
End-to-end encryption for WhatsApp chats was activated in 2016, and it employs the same encryption technology as its competitor Signal, which is now regarded as the “gold standard” in private instant messaging.