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WhatsApp Launches Beta Test of Multi-Device Connection, Expanding Usage Options

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Facebook has announced a limited public beta test of its new multi-device capability for WhatsApp, which will enable WhatsApp users to use the app on various devices, without the need for an active mobile connection.

WhatsApp multi-device

As explained by 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.”

That will provide more ways to use WhatsApp for connection, similar to how you can already use Messenger and Instagram Direct, though with WhatsApp’s additional security elements included.

As explained by WhatsApp chief Will Cathcart:

“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.”

The new process will use what Facebook’s callingAutomatic Device Verification‘ which enables devices to automatically establish trusted connections, in order to maintain WhatsApp’s privacy standards. That will expand use cases for the app, and as Facebook looks to build in more business options, that could also make it much easier for brands to manage their WhatsApp presence.

Facebook has also been working to enable interoperability between its messaging apps, which will eventually see users able to send a message from WhatsApp to Instagram Direct, and/or Messenger, or vice versa, with all of Facebook’s back-end messaging processes linked.

That’s caused some angst among regulatory groups, who are concerned that full message encryption could help to disguise criminal activity, while antitrust analysts also speculate that the move could be designed to make Facebook’s platforms indivisible, meaning that if Facebook were eventually found to have too much market power, it could not be broken up, as some have suggested.

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That change is also at the core of WhatsApp’s controversial privacy policy update, which Facebook needs to enact to facilitate such change, and it’ll be interesting to see whether WhatsApp users are left up in arms again if and when Facebook does move to fully connect its messaging back-end, meaning it will have to share more WhatsApp user data back to Facebook HQ.

In any event, this new advance will facilitate more connection options via WhatsApp, making it easier to manage your WhatsApp messages, and maybe your WhatsApp business presence, on various devices.

You can read more about Facebook’s process for enabling multi-device connection for WhatsApp here.

Socialmediatoday.com

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WhatsApp Launches ‘Call Links’ to Better Facilitate Group Audio and Video Chats

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WhatsApp Launches ‘Call Links’ to Better Facilitate Group Audio and Video Chats

WhatsApp has announced the launch of a new Call Links feature, which, as it sounds, will enable you to share a link to invite others to join a group chat in the app.

As you can see in these examples, you’ll now be able to create dedicated URL links for WhatsApp group video and audio chats, which will make it easier for others to join the discussion in the app.

When available (the option is being rolled out this week), you’ll be able to see the Call Link option within your ‘Calls’ tab, enabling you to create a shareable link to get people into your chats.

It could be an easy way to help enhance community connection, and facilitate engagement, while brands could also use the option to better connect with influencers and advocates, in a more direct, intimate way.

For example, you could run an exclusive chat to discuss your upcoming product launch, or seek feedback on potential updates. Meta’s says that it’s also working on secure, encrypted video calling for up to 32 people as well, so there could soon be a range of ways to use the option as a means to spotlight specific audience segments and engage with them direct.

And with more engagement switching to messaging tools, that’s definitely worth considering.

Indeed, as part of a recent product announcement, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that:

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Most people use feeds to discover content and use messaging for deeper connections.”

As such, it may be time to start considering how you can lean into this shift, and better align with how users are now connecting, in order to maximize community and engagement.

Feeds are increasingly being overtaken by entertainment, so if you want to tap into the connective benefits of the medium, that may no longer be the place to be to reach your fans.

Messaging, and messaging groups, could be an important consideration going forward, and these new tools provide more options on this front.



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