WhatsApp's new update opens up the platform's multi-device login support to handle five phones per account.
It's a long-awaited update for many: For a long while, the intricacies of end-to-end encryption protection kept WhatsApp from enabling access across more than one phone.
The change should go over well, given the Meta-owned platform's global popularity as a messaging service used by more than two billion people in total.
WhatsApp Security Across Multiple Phones
WhatsApp didn't support multiple devices until it opened up a beta program in 2021.
And when multi-device support fully rolled out in 2022, phones were limited to just one per account. Other devices included web browsers, tablets, and desktop computers.
With the brand-new update, multiple phones are now allowed, although the total number of devices allowed remains the same: The original device, plus four additional ones, for a total of five. You likely won't be adding all five phones unless you're forgoing the ability to check WhatsApp on your laptop.
Each phone will connect to WhatsApp “independently,” the platform says, in order to keep all the data end-to-end encrypted.
How WhatsApp Users Could Benefit
Having access to the same account across two or three phones can be helpful in many situations, especially given WhatsApp's popularity across the global as a versatile tool for communication across many contexts and time zones.
Businesses can share one account across multiple employee phones, or one user can remain available for personal-life needs or emergencies even while using their business-specific phone.
The announcement was posted to the company blog, and it pointed out a few handy use-cases of the new feature:
“Linking phones as companion devices makes messaging easier. Now you can switch between phones without signing out and pick up your chats where you left off. Or if you’re a small business owner, additional employees are now able to respond to customers directly from their phones under the same WhatsApp Business account.”
The global rollout of the new feature has already started, but will take a few weeks to complete.
It's a great new tool that should keep WhatsApp users happy. In fact, the news may help to offset a different type of reputational impact that parent company Meta is facing during the current news cycle: The $725 million Facebook lawsuit settlement over allegedly poor data security.
Granted, you'll still need to keep an eye out for WhatsApp scammers, and now you'll have to keep a lookout across more than one phone. But your business' social media management will be that much easier.