WhatsApp developing newsletter tool
WhatsApp is working on a new feature that will allow users to send and receive newsletters similar to those of mass email services.
WABetaInfo has uncovered code in the mobile app referring to a feature dubbed “Newsletter”.
From its analysis of the code, the publication surmised it was a one-to-many tool for broadcasting information.
It appears to be intended for quickly and easily sending useful updates to people and groups with shared interests, like members of the same neighbourhood, sports teams, or other organisations.
WABetaInfo said because it will be possible to reach an undefined and large number of people, the feature will not be protected with end-to-end encryption.
But it argued because a newsletter function uses one-way, one-to-many communication, there was no practical privacy benefit of end-to-end encryption for users.
The phone numbers of those users who create and subscribe to a newsletter will always be masked and hidden to protect their identity.
WABetaInfo said the current code suggested Newsletter will be a separate option under the Status tab.
Users will be able to sign up for a newsletter by searching for its name using a designated handle.
They will also be able to control which newsletters they follow, and other users won’t be able to see what newsletters they receive.
WABetaInfo said while it’s true that WhatsApp’s Communities groups feature allowed for mass messaging similar to a newsletter system, it had some limitations.
Among these is that Communities are limited to 5,000 participants, the message creator’s phone number is visible to everyone, and the list of participants are visible to the sender.
“Newsletters break all these limitations by masking phone numbers, and we believe it will be the perfect tool to connect with an audience,” said WABetaInfo.
It noted that “Newsletter” may be a placeholder name for the feature, and it might change if Meta rolls it out to the beta and stable versions of WhatsApp.
Tawanda started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.