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WhatsApp could be working on a web version that doesn't require a phone.
There's no word yet on when this feature will go live.
WhatsApp, one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, is apparently going to get a major upgrade very soon. According to multiple media outlets, WhatsApp could soon have a web version that works without a smartphone. However, all reports point to a single source, WaBetainfo, whose Twitter page and website no longer seem to carry this information.
According to multiple media outlets, WhatsApp is working on a way for users to use WhatsApp on their desktop browsers without the need for a smartphone. Right now, web.whatsapp.com allows the use of WhatsApp’s services on a desktop browser, but requires that the user have an account on their smartphone. Additionally, the service currently requires users to log on by scanning a QR code on their phones. The goal, it appears, is to free WhatsApp from the smartphone altogether.
It is entirely possible for WhatsApp to be available on browsers without the need for a phone, given that Facebook already has Messenger, which operates the same way. However, with WhatsApp, users register using a phone number and, while there are a number of ways around this problem, it would be interesting to see which route WhatsApp takes. It has for long been known that Facebook would start merging its various services, so we wouldn’t be surprised if it involves a degree of association between users’ phone numbers and email IDs, information that Facebook already collects.
The last two years have been incredibly tumultuous for Facebook and WhatsApp, with the parent company taking the controversial decision to start sharing data from WhatsApp with the main service. There have also been multiple calls by governments and agencies around the world for WhatsApp to provide a back door into its end-to-end encryption, a move that the company has strongly resisted for now.
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