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You'll soon be able to make an Alternate Profile on WhatsApp

The "Alternate Profile" feature will let you set a different name and profile photo for people outside your contact book.

Published onNovember 1, 2023

Holding smartphone with WhatsApp logo on the screen Stock photo
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • WhatsApp is working on a new “alternate profile” feature that lets you restrict your profile photo to contacts while still displaying an alternate profile photo and name to non-contacts.
  • WhatsApp is also working on making it easier to start video calls with the maximum 32 participants.

WhatsApp is one of the most popular instant messaging apps around the world. Many of us use it not only for our personal communication with friends and family but also for work communication with colleagues and industry peers. The service has increasingly recognized the dual nature of its use cases, and it has started leaning into serving both needs. In line with this, WhatsApp appears to be working on letting users have an alternate profile that they share with the world. Further, the app is also working on letting more people join video calls easily.

WhatsApp’s alternate profile feature

As spotted by WABetaInfo in a recent beta, WhatsApp is working on an “alternate profile” feature.

With the alternate profile feature, users will be able to have a restricted profile that is visible to their contacts while displaying an alternate name and photo to others who may be viewing them on WhatsApp.

Many users opt to protect their profile photo and display it only to the contacts present in their phone’s contact list. Other people with numbers not saved by the user in their phone’s contact list will see a blank profile photo. With this feature, these other people can be shown an alternate profile photo and name.

Ultimately, this feature will preserve user privacy, especially if you frequently contact people beyond your everyday contacts, like clients, colleagues, and industry peers. You won’t need to be sharing your personal photo with them, but at the same time, you won’t be a photo-less profile either.

This feature is currently in testing in the beta version of the app and is not available in the stable version yet.

Video calls with up to 31 participants

WhatsApp is also working on letting you initiate group calls with up to 31 participants, as per WABetaInfo.

Previously, group calls supported 32 maximum participants, but you could only select 15 participants to initiate such a call. You would need to start the call with a few people and then add more people to the call separately while the call is underway. This new change makes it easier to start a video call with the 32 maximum participants from the get-go.

This feature is currently rolling out to iOS users. Android users haven’t reported seeing this change, but we can’t rule it out yet.

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