In a bid to enhance user experience and simplify file sharing, WhatsApp is reportedly testing a new feature called ‘Share files with people nearby.’ The feature, currently accessible to beta testers, allows users to instantly drop and share photos and videos with individuals in close proximity.
WhatsApp has been continuously evolving its file-sharing capabilities, and this latest feature appears to be an extension of the platform’s efforts to streamline and diversify the file-sharing experience. The ‘Share files with people nearby’ feature is said to be akin to Android’s “Nearby Share,” requiring users to be in close proximity for seamless sharing.
According to reports from WABetaInfo, the new file-sharing feature is available to WhatsApp beta users on Android version 22.214.171.124. A screenshot shared by the platform reveals that the feature introduces a novel approach to file sharing. Users can navigate to a dedicated section to send and receive files, with both parties needing access to this section to initiate file exchanges. The report suggests that shaking the device triggers a share request, offering an interactive and controlled way to transfer files.
Notably, the ‘Share files with people nearby’ feature incorporates end-to-end encryption, ensuring the security of file transfers even when not within a WhatsApp chat or on an unfamiliar network. This added layer of privacy distinguishes the WhatsApp feature from existing options like Android’s ‘Near By’ Sharing and Apple’s Airdrop.
While competitors offer similar functionalities, WhatsApp’s feature aims to stand out with its emphasis on enhanced encryption and privacy benefits. For instance, when sharing files in public spaces, users can rest assured that their phone number remains hidden from non-contacts.
However, it’s crucial to note that the ‘Share files with people nearby’ feature is currently in the development phase, and its official release timeline remains uncertain. Whether it will eventually be integrated into the regular app version is also an aspect yet to be confirmed.
Meanwhile, WhatsApp has recently introduced several new features for its Channels, designed to facilitate efficient communication with a broader audience:
- Voice Updates: Channel admins can now send voice messages to followers for more effective communication.
- Polls: Channels can create polls to gather feedback from their audience.
- Share to Status: Channels can connect with personal contacts by allowing users to share Channel messages to their status.
- Multiple Admins: Improved group management as Channels can now have more than one admin.
As WhatsApp continues to innovate, these features are expected to contribute to a more engaging and versatile user experience within the platform.