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WhatsApp to enable multi-device support and roll out new View Once mode

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WhatsApp will soon allow users to link multiple devices to a single account, WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart and Mark Zuckerberg have confirmed in a (sort of) interview.

Speaking to WABetaInfo – the site that often reveals forthcoming features before they’re announced – in a surreal group chat, the executives confirmed the previously-rumoured new feature will not compromise the service’s treasured end-to-end encryption.

The feature will enable a WhatsApp account to exist on multiple devices with messages synced between all of them, even without an active internet connection on the main device.

In a WhatsApp chat, which the site posted screenshots of, Zuckerberg wrote: “It’s been a big technical challenge to get all your messages and content to sync properly across devices even when your phone battery dies, but we’ve got this sorted and we’re looking forward to getting it out soon.”

Zuckerberg added: “It’ll still be end-to-end encrypted. I think we’ve solved this in an elegant way and it’ll be the best solution out there.”

Cathcart confirmed the functionality will be coming to public beta in the next couple of months, enabling real-world users to take it for a spin. The functionality will also enable WhatsApp to be available on iPad, eventually.

Right now, WhatsApp web enables messages to be synced with a Mac or PC app, but having the same WhatsApp account exist on multiple phones and tablets will be useful for many users.

WhatsApp Beta conversation Zuckerberg
Image credit: WABetaInfo

Elsewhere the execs confirmed that View Once mode to accompany the existing Disappearing Mode that will boost the privacy of chats. Zuckerberg says the the content will disappear after the person has seen it, in this mode. This is especially handy if you want to send sensitive photos and videos in the chat without leaving a lasting mark (screenshooting notwithstanding).

All in all, this was a pretty unique exchange, between a reporter whose identity remains unknown and the top bosses of the biggest social media company in the world. We’d advise you to check out the report and see the screenshots for yourself.

We’ll let you know when WhatsApp rolls out the multi-device support within the next few months, complete with instructions on how to enable the feature.

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