Meta is working on a Companion Mode feature for WhatsApp. The feature is currently in its initial rollout phase, and some users within the beta test program will already have a version of the feature to test. It might not be as cool as talking to yourself on WhatsApp, but it will help.
If you’re unfamiliar with Companion Mode, it basically lets you link your WhatsApp account to multiple devices. ‘After linking your WhatsApp account to a new mobile phone, your chat history will be synced across your linked devices. Since this is a beta version, some features may still not be available, for example, the ability to view live locations and manage broadcast lists and stickers.’
Another cool feature is that, according to WhatsApp, you’ll be able to ‘link up to 4 devices at once so you may also link more than two mobile phones to your WhatsApp account. In addition, your personal messages and calls are still end-to-end encrypted even if you use WhatsApp from a linked mobile phone: when someone sends you a message, it is sent to all your devices so encryption is always preserved.’
Previously, we explored whether WhatsApp was ruining its simplicity with so many features. This feature is another one to add to the list of reasons why people might go back to using something simpler. Even though many people do have multiple devices to run the app from, the utility already has a feature that lets you do this. Linking a PC, for example, to your mobile WhatsApp app is already a way to use WhatsApp on multiple devices. Do we really need more features cluttering up this messaging platform?
One interesting use case for this feature is that it may make transferring files from your PC to your phone and vice versa even easier. However, you’re already able to do this with the Link a New Device option. So, again, is this ‘novel’ feature really necessary?
Features like this are bound to change the way that users interact with WhatsApp. With the inclusion of stories, enhanced Groups functionality, and WhatsApp avatars, the formerly humble means of communication is becoming more and more like Meta’s social media monstrosities, Facebook and Instagram. It’ll be interesting to see how all of these new additions change WhatsApp and impact the people who currently rely so heavily on this app for communication.